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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Election survey results indicate strong support for Tibet among Canadian opposition parties

October 12, 2015

#IvoteTibet

 Canadian Federal Election 2015:

Opposition parties would promote renewal of Sino-Tibet dialogue

 Montreal, October 13, 2015 – Each of Canada’s four opposition parties would promote a renewal of the Sino-Tibet dialogue if they were to win next week’s federal election, according to a survey conducted by the Canada Tibet Committee. The governing Conservative Party of Canada declined requests to participate in the survey.

The four responding parties each affirmed that they would meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration should they visit Canada. [1]

The Green Party explicitly supports the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach for a peaceful resolution of the Tibetan issue, while the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP support “autonomy” for Tibet within China.  The Liberal Party expressed no position on Tibet’s political status but reiterated support for “constructive dialogue”. [2]

All parties reject China’s interference in the succession process of Tibet’s religious leaders, with the exception of the Liberal Party which did not respond directly to the question.

“Tibet matters to Canadians,” said Carole Samdup, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee.  “The pubic commitment by political parties to support the Tibetan issue will influence the way that thousands of Canadians across this country vote on October 19.”

Responses compiled below are provided as they were received, without editing. Translation of the questionnaire responses was kindly provided by CTC volunteers and the CTC assumes responsibility for any errors in those translations. The Liberal Party of Canada sent its response in both of Canada’s official languages; the Bloc Quebecois responded in French only; the Green Party and New Democratic Party responded in English only. 

The CTC is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse any political party. [3]

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 Notes:

[1] The CTC notes that each party leader has already met the Dalai Lama on at least one occasion.  Two leaders - Elisabeth May and Tom Mulcair - have met personally with Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay since his election as Tibet’s political leader in 2011.

 

[2] Parties were directed to background documents describing the Middle Way Approach.

[3] www.tibet.ca 

 

ELECTION 2015: TIBET SURVEY RESPONSES

 BQ = Bloc Quebecois; CPC = Conservative Party of Canada; GPC = Green Party of Canada; LPC = Liberal Party of Canada; NDP = New Democratic Party of Canada

Question 1: Does [your Party] support meaningful dialogue, without preconditions, leading to negotiations between the Government of China and envoys of the Dalai Lama for a peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue?

 BQ      Yes, the Bloc Québécois stands behind the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in their desire for autonomy and freedom.  All good faith efforts to find a suitable solution for the Tibetan people will have the support of the Bloc Québécois.

CPC    No response

GPC   Yes, as Elizabeth May said in the House of Commons: “Things have become a crisis for those in Tibet. In the words of his holiness, the Dalai Lama, ‘We must find a peaceful way forward.’”  The Green Party supports meaningful dialogue, without preconditions, leading to negotiations between the Government of China and envoys of the Dalai Lama for a peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue. Canada must not shy away from a frank dialogue with China about its oppression of the Tibetan People.

LPC    Yes, the Liberal Party of Canada has always been a strong advocate for human rights in China and Tibet and will continue to advocate for the respect of human and civil rights. We strongly encourage the government of China to work with the Tibetan people in a constructive way to resolve the Tibetan situation in a manner that fully respects human rights, international law and Tibet's cultural identity.

NDP    Yes, the NDP successfully proposed a parliamentary motion in 2007 calling for the PRC and Tibet's government-in-exile to continue engaging in "dialogue in a forward-looking manner that will lead to pragmatic solutions that respect the Chinese constitutional framework, the territorial integrity of China and fulfill the aspirations of the Tibetan people for a unified and genuinely autonomous Tibet”.

Question 2: Does [your Party] endorse the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” approach based on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China?

 BQ      Yes, the Bloc Québécois supports the Tibetan people in their quest for autonomy and hopes for a solution that pleases them. The Bloc Québécois therefore stands in support of the Dalai Lama’s proposal.

CPC    No response

GPC   Yes, the Green Party unequivocally supports the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way approach based on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China. The Tibetan People need freedom and this is a sensible path towards that goal.

LPC    We encourage the Chinese government to engage with the Tibetan political leadership in a spirit of constructive dialogue. Dialogue, not confrontation, is the key to resolving the violent situation in Tibet and neighbouring provinces.

NDP    Yes, the NDP supports the Dalai Lama’s advocacy of conflict resolution based on non-violence, compromise, and dialogue, as well as his desire for Tibetans to live freely and peacefully in an autonomous Tibet within the People's Republic of China.

Question 3:  Does [your Party] reject interference by the Government of China in the Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation process as a violation of the internationally recognized right to religious freedom?

BQ      Yes, attempts to control the reincarnation process of Tibetan Buddhism by the Government of China, in an effort to control the next Dalai Lama, is an unacceptable interference in the religious and spiritual life of Tibetans.

CPC    No response

 GPC    Yes, the Green Party believes that interference by the Government of China in the Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation process is a violation of the right of the Tibetan People to religious freedom. As Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief said: China, in trying to interfere with reincarnation, is "really destroying the autonomy of religious communities, poisoning the relationship between different sub-groups, creating schisms, pitching off people against each other in order to exercise control."

LPC     We remain concerned about the condition of human rights for Tibetans on numerous issues, ranging from resource allocation to freedom of expression. We have taken diplomatic opportunities to raise human rights issues with Chinese officials at the highest levels. We would like to see China strengthen its role as an active member of the international community and improve human rights.

NDP    Yes, the Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation process and the selection of reincarnated lamas are matters for Tibetan Buddhists, not government regulation. The NDP has urged the Government of China to respect the freedoms of religion and association for Tibetans.

Question 4: If [your Party] forms the next Government of Canada, would its representatives: a) meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama should he visit Canada and request such a meeting?  B) meet with representatives of the democratically-elected Central Tibetan Administration based in India, including with its political leader (Sikyong), should they visit Canada and request such a meeting? 

 BQ      Yes, the Bloc Québécois and its leader, Mr. Duceppe, will be very happy to repeat the experience and meet again with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or with representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration.

CPC    No response

GPC   Absolutely, Green Party leader Elizabeth May has met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on anumber of occasions and will always welcome the opportunity to meet again.

The Green Party would be honoured to meet with representatives of the democratically-elected Central Tibetan Administration based in India, including with its political leader (Sikyong), should they visit Canada and request such a meeting.

LPC    The Liberal Party of Canada was proud to have supported His Holiness the Dalai Lama becoming Canada’s fifth honourary citizen. Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin was the first Canadian prime minister to meet with His Holiness, and a Liberal government would continue this proud tradition of engagement. Liberals were thankful for the opportunity to meet with the Sikyong of the Tibetan People, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, when he appeared in front of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights in February of 2013. A Liberal government would look forward to further engagement of this sort with the Sikyong.

NDP    Yes, the NDP notes and respects the Dalai Lama's status as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and one of just five honorary Canadian citizens; his religious and personal leadership of the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhists worldwide; and his championship of human rights and respect for all living creatures. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has previously met with the Dalai Lama and Sikyong during their visits to Canada. If requested an NDP government would most certainly meet with the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration.

end

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