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Exile Tibetan leaders lobby for Canadian support for their cause

CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay presenting Ashok Chakra to Melanie Joly, Canadian Minister of Heritage at the Thank You Canada event. (Photo courtesy; TIBET.NET)
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay presenting Ashok Chakra to Melanie Joly, Canadian Minister of Heritage at the Thank You Canada event. (Photo courtesy; TIBET.NET)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun14, 2018) – The President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and a delegation of exile Tibetan parliament members have on Jun 12 testified before the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development in capital Ottawa. The Tibetans were visiting Canada in tandem with a series of ‘Thank You Canada’ events being organized to mark 60 years of the Tibetan community in the country.

Referring to the visit to the committee just recently by a Chinese National People’s Congress delegation from Tibet Autonomous Region, who sought to present the real situation in Tibet, CTA President Lobsang Sangay has said his delegation “truly represents Tibet”.

He has noted that the Chinese delegation’s remarks had been received with skepticism and criticism by the same committee at its hearing at that time, adding “the previous delegation served as a smoke screen for the grave human rights violations that are going on in Tibet.”

The CTA’s Tibet.net reported Jun 13 that the hearing discussed jailing by China on May 22 of the Tibetan language rights activist Mr Tashi Wangchuk in the background of what was stated to be China’s policy of assimilation with regard to Tibetan language and culture.

Other issues addressed at the committee hearing were stated to include the issue of religious freedom with particular focus on the large-scale official demolition work carried out recently at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Serta (Seda) County of Sichuan Province, the continued disappearance since 1995 of the 11th Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama, and China’s assumption of control of the religious process for recognizing the reincarnations of Tibetan Buddhist leaders.

The CTA’s Middle Way Approach of seeking genuine autonomy, not independence, for Tibet and the absence of such autonomy in today’s Tibet was also stated to have been taken up.

The Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT) Canada was stated to have hosted a lunch reception for the CTA delegation.  Later on, PFT members were stated to have raised strong voice about Tibet on the floor of the house as the Tibetan parliamentary delegation attended the Question Period in the main parliament building.

A ‘Thank You Canada event’ held later in the evening was stated to have been attended by Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage; Canadian MPs; and others.

The Tibetan parliament delegation was made up of Migyur Dorjee, Tenpa Yarphel, Dhondup Tashi, Namgyal Dolkar, Pema Chagzoetsang, and Tsewang Rigzin, with the first four having travelled from India and the last two from the USA.

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