Montreal, January 16, 2002
: A group of twelve prominent Canadians have sent a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien encouraging him to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits Canada in April. The twelve, who are part of the visit "Advisory Committee", include representatives from Canada's first nations, business, non-governmental, labour and entertainment communities.
"The diversity of the committee reflects the broad-based support for Tibet among Canadians", said Thubten Samdup, National President of the Canada Tibet Committee. The willingness of these individuals to lend their names to the Dalai Lama's visit is a reflection of their sentiment towards this man and his cause."
In their letter to Chrétien, the Advisory Committee members ask that while in Canada, the Dalai Lama "be received with the respect and honour due a man of his stature". They add, "We therefore urge you to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits Canada in April 2002 and on behalf of the Canadian people, to express your support for his message of peace."
The Dalai Lama, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, will visit Ottawa from April 28-30, 2002. The Canada Tibet Committee has requested that the Government of Canada play an active role in the effort to bring representatives of the Government of China to the negotiation table with representatives of the Dalai Lama.
The April visit will be the Dalai Lama's fourth visit to Canada. Another visit is scheduled for Toronto in 2004 when he will offer a rare Buddhist teaching.
The Advisory Committee is comprised of:
Ms. Patricia Adams, Executive Director, Probe International
Hon. Mr. Warren Allmand, President, Rights & Democracy
Hon. Mr. Ed Broadbent, Author and Former Leader, New Democratic Party
Mr. Tim Brodhead, President, The McConnell Foundation
Ms. Rosemary Brown, President, MATCH International Centre
Mr. Matthew Coon Come, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations
Ms. Margot Franssen, President and Partner, The Body Shop Canada
Mr. Ken Georgetti, President, Canadian Labour Congress
Dr. Thupten Jimpa, Director, Institute of Tibetan Classics
Ms. Virginia Lam, Attorney and Partner, De Grandpré Chait, Barristers and Solicitors
Ms. Elisabeth May, Executive Director, The Sierra Club Canada
Ms. Alanis Morissette, Singer / songwriter
To see the full text of the letter, click here
Contact: Ms. Tenzin Yangdon, (514) 927-9154 or (514) 487-0665