Montreal, June 16, 2003: The Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) is pleased to announce that the Dalai Lama's Canadian tour, scheduled for April 2004, has been extended to include Ottawa. The visit to the nation's capital is part of an initiative to encourage the Canadian government to play an active role in negotiations between representatives of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Tibetan government-in-exile.
This initiative has already received support from almost a third of Canadian Members of Parliament (85) from all major parties. The Dalai Lama is expected to meet with them and other eminent Canadians in an effort to build international support for his non-violent efforts to resolve the issue of Tibet and to urge an increased role for Canada in the dialogue process.
Earlier this month and in September 2002, special envoys of the Dalai Lama met with Chinese officials in Beijing and Lhasa. After more than a decade without direct dialogue, these series of meetings mark significant progress in the effort to convene formal negotiations. These talks would cap consistent efforts by the Dalai Lama to settle the Tibet issue by peaceful means.
"The Dalai Lama's steadfast adherence to the principle of non-violence is especially significant in today's world", said Thubten Samdup, National President of the Canada Tibet Committee. "It is a message that will resonate with the Canadian public and government alike. We are at a critical crossroads in Tibet's history and Canada's support will make a difference."
The Dalai Lama's Canadian tour will begin in Vancouver on April 19 where he will deliver the keynote address at a conference by the University of British Colombia. He will travel to Ottawa from April 21-24 and then to Toronto from April 25- May 5, 2004 where he will offer the Kalachakra Buddhist teaching for the first time in Canada. This will be the Dalai Lama's third visit to Canada and his second to Ottawa.
A history of efforts to establish a dialogue on Tibet
Visit www.tibet.ca for:
A list of Canadian MPs who have supported a dialogue between Tibet and China
Updates regarding the Dalai Lama's visit to Canada
For more information: Thubten Samdup 514-867-6770 (English) or Tenzin Dargyal - 514-235-0205 (French)