(TibetanReview.net, Feb15, 2017) – The executive head of the exile Tibetan administration at Dharamshala, India, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on Feb 13 expressed high hopes for US President Donald Trump to support dialogue between Tibetans and Beijing, following in the footsteps of his predecessors, reported AP Feb 13. Speaking to foreign journalists in Tokyo, he has said that “it matters what the United States does and says,” and that Tibetans should “remain hopeful” that the US can serve as an intermediary.
The report further cited him as saying, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, that previous US administrations had acknowledged the ‘one China’ policy but also supported dialogue between the exiled Tibetans and Beijing under the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ approach, which calls for regional autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule.
In this connection he thanked the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his recent remarks encouraging dialogue between Beijing and Representatives of Tibet’s ‘Government in Exile’ and/or the Dalai Lama. Tillerson had stressed, in connection with his Senate confirmation hearing, that he will also “encourage Beijing and the Governments of all nations to respect and preserve the distinct religious, linguistic, and cultural identity of the Tibetan people worldwide.”
Earlier in the day the Sikyong took part in a conversation with Ms Yoshiko Sakurai, a veteran journalist and adviser to the government of Japan and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. She heads the think tank ‘Japan Institute of National Fundamentals’. Ms Sakura hoped the Japanese government will follow the Indian government in supporting the Tibetan people.
The Sikyong is visiting Japan from Feb 4 to 18. On Feb 15 he met with members of the Japanese Parliament who in Nov 2016 set up a Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet. He spoke to them on Tibet and Freedom of Religion at the meeting which was organised in the House of Representatives building in Tokyo.