By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, July 10: A 29-year-old Tibetan man, Sangyal Kyab, has covered the distance of 415 km starting from Toronto on June 28 to Ottawa on Thursday. The marcher urged Canada’ PM Justin Trudeau to stand with Tibet and make China accountable for its atrocities.
He has concluded the first half of his “Peace Walk for Tibet” and plans to go on a hunger strike at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa before resuming his walk back to Toronto.
Sangyal started the march from the Toronto Chinese consulate with a placard stating three demands for PM Trudeau, “My three demands are simple, and I think if Trudeau stands with them, he will have immense influence on the leadership around the world to support Tibet. I ask that he support the resumption of the Sino-Tibet dialogue, to support His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet, and to urge China to release all political prisoners, such as the Panchen Lama and Tashi Wangchuk.”
Sangyal was born in Ngaba, Amdo in Tibet; he fled to India at the age of 12 and went to TCV Suja School in Himachal Pradesh. A local resident of Toronto now, Sangyal met with two MPs, Garnett Genuis and Arif Virani, of Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and both expressed their support and solidarity with him and the Tibetan movement.
The Executive Director of the Canada-Tibet Committee, Sherap Tharchin said, “Sangyal’s walk from Toronto to Ottawa, in some ways, reflects the growing desperations and frustration of Tibetan people over the silence of the international community on the deterioration of human rights situations in Tibet.” Many Tibetans and Tibet supporters joined the campaign to support his cause and organized food and other essential items to help him on the journey.