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Tibetan political leader concludes successful visit to Ottawa

November 28, 2016

Canada Tibet Committee, November 24, 2016 – Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, elected political leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, concluded a three-day visit to Ottawa this week.  The visit was his forth to the nation’s capital, and the first since the Liberal government was elected last year. Dr. Sangay was accompanied by Representative Mr. Penpa Tsering of the Office of Tibet in Washington DC.

Dr. Sangay was hosted in Ottawa by the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT), a cross-party group of MPs and Senators chaired by MP Arif Virani (Parkdale-High Park). Vice Chairs are MPs Garnett Genuis, Randall Garrison, and James Maloney.

The PFT hosted a lively reception in parliament attended by thirty MPs representing all political parties and constituencies across Canada. Speaking to the MPs gathered, Dr. Sangay thanked them for their continued support of Tibet and suggested that Canada could play an important role in advancing the Sino-Tibetan dialogue based on its own experience in the development of autonomy arrangements here in Canada.

Later, MP Virani rose in the House of Commons to acknowledge the presence of Dr. Sangay in the Parliamentary Gallery saying, “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about Tibetan leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay. I salute Dr. Sangay as well as Mr. Penpa Tsering, the official representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for their important work in promoting awareness about the Middle Way Approach.” Virani’s words received a rare standing ovation in the House.

Dr. Sangay’s visit to Ottawa included an appearance before the Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights.  His testimony highlighted the demolitions and evictions currently under way at Serta Larung Gar Buddhist Academy and an appeal for Canadian intervention.  He also raised concerns about the continued detention of Tibet’s Panchen Lama, the impact of unregulated mining, and the decreasing space for free expression in Tibet.  Dr. Sangay proposed the Middle Way Approach as a reasonable solution which complies with Canadian foreign policy.  He suggested that Canada could play a proactive role in promoting the Middle Way Approach with its Chinese counterparts.

While in Ottawa, Dr. Sangay and Representative Tsering were special guests at a dinner hosted by the local Tibetan community which is comprised primarily of Tibetans who have come to Canada during the past three years.  They are part of a federal immigration project that will see 1000 displaced Tibetans from Arunachal Pradesh resettled in this country by mid-2017.

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Audio-transcript of Dr. Sangay’s testimony before the Canadian Parliamentary Subcommittee on International Human Rights can be accessed at:;%20CPU%20iPhone%20OS%208_1_3%20like%20Mac%20OS%20X)%20AppleWebKit/600.1.4%20(KHTML,%20like%20Gecko)%20GSA/20.3.136880903%20Mobile/12B466%20Safari/600.1.4

The Canada Tibet Committee’s written submission to the Subcommittee is found at:

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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