By Choekyi Lhamo
Bhutila Karpoche addressing the Assembly
DHARAMSHALA, DEC 12: The Tibetan Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), Bhutila Karpoche, called for the freedom of Tibetans, Uyghurs and Hong Kongers in the Canadian Legislative Assembly of Ontario on Dec 10. Karpoche made a strong address to the speaker of house on the special occasion of the 30th anniversary of the conferment of Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and International Human Rights Day, celebrated by Tibetans all over the world as the Nobel Prize day.
Bhutila Karpoche spoke extensively on the continuing human rights abuses and the worsening conditions of Tibetans in Tibet. “The arbitrary imprisonment of environmental activist Anya Sengdra and Tashi Wangchuk for advocating for Tibetans’ right to learn their own language and more than 150 self-immolations that have occurred since 2009 in protest of Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet and their repressive policies,” said Karpoche.
Karpoche also called for the freedom of people in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. “Leaked documents confirmed the mass detention of Uyghurs in camps for indoctrination and forced labour and the ongoing movement for democracy in Hong Kong which had reached its seventh month despite the Chinese government’s attempts to shut it down through mass arrests and violence.”
The Tibetan Canadian politician further urged the Canadian people to stand in solidarity and join the Tibetans, Uyghurs and Hong Kongers in their call for freedom and human rights. She said, “We who enjoy and have the freedom have a responsibility to support the fight for freedom of others.”
Bhutila Karpoche created history in 2018 by winning a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the Canada elections making her the first Tibetan in North America to be elected to office. She was representing the New Democrat Party (NDP) in the Parkdale-High Park federal electoral district where there is a high concentration of Tibetans and immigrants from the Indian sub-continent.