(TibetanReview.net, Dec15’21) – Responding to questions raised in the ongoing winter session of parliament, which had begun on Nov 27, the government of Switzerland has said Dec 14 that it had noted that “the Tibetan language is under increasing pressure”, and that “it is an issue” to be raised with China.
The Federal council of Switzerland has also said in a written response that “religious leaders should be freely chosen by the community concerned”.
This issue bears implication on the fact that China has made clear its intention to choose the reincarnation of the current Dalai Lama instead of allowing the Tibetan Buddhists to carry out this process in keeping with the established tradition of whatever instructions the current throne-holder may leave behind and by other intrinsically religious means.
The Swiss government’s response has said it had noted in “its China Strategy 2021-2024 that the human rights situation in China has deteriorated, especially for ethnic and religious minorities who are under additional pressure. For this reason, Switzerland prioritizes these issues in its human rights policy towards China.”
The questions were raised by Nicolas Walder, co-president of Swiss-Parliamentary Group for Tibet, who questioned the Federal council of Switzerland over its view on the current situation of cultural rights of Tibetan people. And he asked for Switzerland’s position on religious rights of the Tibetan people, in particular the rights to freely choose their religious leaders.
He has expressed concern over China’s ever-increasing move to promote Mandarin Chinese in Tibet and the forced closure of all remaining schools teaching in Tibetan.