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Prime Minister Martin urged to publicly promote negotiations on Tibet during Hu Jintao’s visit to Canada

September 07, 2005

A majority of parliamentarians support active involvement of PM

OTTAWA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2005 - On the eve of Hu Jintao’s first visit to Canada as President of the People’s Republic of China, the Canada Tibet Committee (CTC) is urging the Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, to encourage President Hu to clarify his commitment to undertake concrete measures so that the present dialogue process between envoys of the Dalai Lama and China will lead to a negotiated resolution of the Tibetan issue.

In June 2005, envoys of the Dalai Lama met with Chinese leaders in Berne, Switzerland for their first meeting outside of Tibet and China. The US and EU publicly welcomed the talks while Canada issued no statement. This is the fourth round of talks in the last four years. The Dalai Lama has conceded Tibet’s right to independence by seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within China. However the issue of Tibet remains far from resolved as reports confirmed the continual denial of fundamental rights to Tibetans in occupied Tibet.

“The latest round of talks in Switzerland reflects the tremendous support of the international community for the peaceful resolution of the Tibetan issue,” said Tenzin Dargyal, National Coordinator of the CTC. “It may also indicate a new openness from China in raising the international profile of the dialogue.”

The Parliament of Canada has repeatedly shown its support for the start of meaningful negotiations between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama or his representatives. In both the current and previous parliament, a majority of elected Members of Parliament signed a letter in support of the "Tibet-China Negotiation Campaign". The campaign and letter requests the Prime Minister to play the role of honest broker in the process towards meaningful negotiations on the issue of Tibet. Motions supporting Tibet negotiations were also passed at both the Senate and the Human Rights subcommittee of the House of Commons in December 2004.

"Since the Dalai Lama’s visit to Canada in April 2004, the issue of Tibet continues to have demonstrable support from the Canadian Parliament and Canadian public”, said Mr. Dargyal. “Nearly a year and a half after this historic visit and in the midst of Canada’s renewed vision for foreign policy, the time has arrived for the PM and Government of Canada to take a leading global role, based on concrete actions, on the many issues facing the people of Tibet.”

In April 2004, Paul Martin became the first sitting Prime Minister of Canada to meet with the Dalai Lama. They did discuss human rights in Tibet. The Dalai Lama also requested Mr. Martin to continue discussions of human rights with China and felt that Canada might be able to bring Tibet and China together.

The Canada-Tibet Committee is a non-governmental organization of Tibetans and non-Tibetans in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.

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Contact:
Tenzin Dargyal, National Coordinator
CTC National Office
Tel: 514.487.0665, Cell: 514.235.0205

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CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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