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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development host Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay in Ottawa

June 12, 2018

Ottawa, June 12th 2018 – The Tibetan political leader, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and a delegation of Tibetan parliamentaries have appeared today in front of the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

The hearing included a presentation by Dr Lobsang Sangay and an extensive question and answer period from the committee members. 

‘This delegation truly represents Tibet’, said Sikyong Dr. Sangay, refering to last week’s hearing of a delegation from the so-called ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ (TAR), whose remarks were received with skepticism and criticism by the same hearing committee. The previous delegation ‘served as a smoke screen for the grave human rights violations that are going on in Tibet’, he added.

Dr. Sangay mentioned the Freedom House reports ranking Tibet the least free place on earth, after Syria, as well as Reporters without Borders and other official reports, when describing the situation in Tibet.

Given the nature of the commitee, the hearing dealt with the relationship China has with the international community and with Canada in particular. When dealing with China, countries have two choices, argued Dr.Sangay : ‘Transform China to be more like you, or China will transform you to be more like it’. 

The hearing also touched upon Canada’s support in Tibet, through aid and development organizations, in spite of the lack of reciprocity when it comes to access and entry in Tibet, for Canadian officials. 

The hearing also touched upon recent case of Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk, and Canada’s overt support for him and his advocacy; the question of Tibetan language and cultural assimilation was addressed. The committee also discussed issues related to religious freedom, the demolition of Larung Gar, the Panchen Lama, and the CCP’s intent to control the reincarnation process in the Tibetan monastic realm. Another subject the committee elaborated on was Tibet’s autonomy. ‘What we seek is support for the Middle Way Approach’, said Dr. Sangay, mentioning that its implementation would only entail the implementation of the Chinese law and Constitution.

‘Tibet is a litmus test for China and for Canada’, Dr. Sangay concluded. It is crucial that ‘money and morals go together and one is not exchanged with the other’, when dealing with China, warned Dr.Sangay.

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay is in Ottawa during a pan-Canadian series of events titled ‘Thank you Canada’. 2018 marks 60 years in exile for the Tibetan diaspora.

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