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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?"

The Canadian Senate Standing Committees on Human Rights, and Foreign Affairs host Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay in Ottawa

June 15, 2018

The Canadian Senate Standing Committees on Human Rights, and Foreign Affairs host Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay in Ottawa

Ottawa, June 14, 2018 – The Senate Standing Committees on Human Rights, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade hosted a special meeting to hear the Central Tibetan Administration President Dr. Lobsang Sangay speak on Tibet’s geopolitical importance and aspirations of Tibetan people.

Dr. Sangay spoke on Tibet as geopolitically important serving as buffer between India and China, and now as an area of potential conflict between two of the largest populated and military powers in Asia. He also spoke on Tibet being one of the most environmentally strategic and sensitive regions in the world, with all the 10 major river systems of Asia originating from the Tibetan Plateau.  He added that the widespread environmental destruction in the past 50 years resulting in deforestation, soil erosion, extinction of wildlife, overgrazing, uncontrolled mining and nuclear waste dumping has direct ramifications that go far beyond Tibet’s borders.

To explain the true aspirations of Tibetan people to seek genuine autonomy within China, Dr. Sangay highlighted reports on Tibet by Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders. According to the Freedom House, Tibet is the second least free places in the world, after Syria. However, for nearly six decades, Tibetans continue to pursue non-violence, tolerance and compassion to preserve their language, land, religion and culture.

Dr. Sangay also spoke on Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wanchuk who was sentenced for 5 years by the Chinese government. Dr. Sangay related this harsh sentencing to the lack of actual implementation of bilanguage education policy in Tibet by China.

In addition, Dr. Sangay also discussed the role that Canada and Canadians can play in supporting and advancing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s envisioned Middle Way Approach– the protection and preservation of Tibetan culture, language, religion and national identity within the framework of the People’s Republic of China – and how this approach can be a model to resolve other conflicts in the 21stcentury. He recommended the members of Special Joint Senate Committee to take following actions:

  • Resumption of Sino-Tibet Dialogue : the Senate of Canada should adopt a motion encouraging the Govt of Canada to actively support renewal of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue without preconditions and based on the Middle Way Approach which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution and law.
  • Reciprocal Access - When Canadian  Senators meet with official Tibetan delegations sent by the Peoples Republic of China, Senators should require reciprocal diplomatic access to Tibet without limitations on where they can travel, or who can be part of Canadian diplomatic delegations.



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