By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 23: The President of Tibetan government-in-exile known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering addressed the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet on Thursday, highlighting the worsening situation of the Tibetan people under the repressive policies of CCP. Japan has the largest Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet in the world.
“Tibetan children are forced to learn Chinese language instead of Tibetan and its propaganda with the aim to change their mind so that there won’t be any Tibetan in another 15 to 20 years,” Tsering told lawmakers at the parliament building in Tokyo. He said the biggest threat facing Tibet is the colonial boarding system run by the government, which has forcibly separated 80% of children from their parents to alienate them from cultural roots.
The CTA President said that the Chinese state continues to implement policies to wipe the cultural and linguistic identities of the Tibetan people. He urged the Japanese parliamentarians to use their influence on UNHCR and come out with a comprehensive report on Tibet akin the recently released human rights assessment on East Turkestan (Ch: Xinjiang). The Sikyong (President) said that defending the historical truth about Tibet is crucial for the movement, as detailed extensively in Michael Van Walt van Praag’s book Tibet Brief 20/20.
Another notable remark was made about the egregious climate change in Tibet that is rapidly quickened by Chinese industrial policies. He argued that environmental concerns in Tibet does not only affect Tibetan residents but the whole Asian subcontinent which are dependent on major rivers originating from Tibet. He further appealed that the Japanese government discuss the detrimental effect of changing climate in Tibet by highlighting the concerns on international platforms like the upcoming COP27 in Egypt.
The leader of the Dharamshala-based CTA also extended an invitation to the parliamentarians to visit the exile Tibetan capital and to meet the spiritual head His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The President noted that it was the Dalai Lama who devolved his political authority and introduced democracy after coming into exile. “Today we have a fully functional democratic system in the Tibetan community”, he said while praising Japan’s growing engagement with democratic countries like the US and India through collaborations including QUAD and AUKUS for promoting values like “democracy, freedom and rule of law”.