Two Canadian MPs address parliament to welcome Karmapa’s visit

17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. (Photo courtesy: Karmapa Foundation)
17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. (Photo courtesy: Karmapa Foundation)

(, Jun16, 2017) – Welcoming Tibet’s prominent exiled spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, on his first visit to the country, two Canadian MP’s have urged the world and the Canadian government to stand up against China.

Addressing the House of Commons, opposition Conservative Party MP David Sweet and governing Liberal Party MP James Maloney have explained how the Karmapa’s escape from Tibet in Dec 1999 underlined the gravity of the human rights situation in Tibet and praised the young lama for his contribution to the Tibetan as well as global causes.

Sweet has said the Karmapa’s life “should remind us of the dire human rights situation in the so-called autonomous region of Tibet”, given the fact that he was forced to flee his homeland at age 14, “amidst the tyrannous efforts of China to persecute the people of Tibet through forced assimilation and restricting religion to the point of destroying religious buildings”. He has said conditions in Tibet had only deteriorated in the 16 years since the Karmapa’s escape.

He has said the government of Canada needed to stand up to the People’s Republic of China “and advocate for truly autonomous region for Tibetans, so they may enjoy the freedoms you and I do.”

Sweet, an MP since Jan 2006, had, on Jun 22, 2006, obtained the unanimous consent of the House of Commons for a motion awarding honorary Canadian citizenship to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, making him the 3rd person to receive such an honour by the House of Commons, after Nelson Mandela in 2001.

Maloney has commended the young religious leader’s commitment to helping the youth, for his dedication to social and environmental responsibility and for bringing Buddhist teaching to the modern world. “His Holiness touches many lives by making Buddhism and meditation accessible to people through technology and electronic resources. He is helping thousands of people going through mental challenges find peace,” he said.

Maloney represents the electoral district of Etobicoke—Lakeshore, where the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre has been established since 2004.

The Karmapa is on a month-long trip to Canada, which began on May 29. He has lived at the Gyuto Monastery near Dharamshala, since arriving in India in Jan 2000.


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