DHARAMSHALA, April 5: Sixty Japanese Parliamentarians from across party lines unanimously adopted a resolution expressing grave concern over the ongoing wave of self-immolations in Tibet and called on China to “fundamentally rethink” its approach towards Tibet.
“Years of restrictions on Tibetans’ rights are the underlying causes of the protests by way of self-immolations,” the resolution read. “It is clearly time for the Chinese government to fundamentally rethink its approach by listening to and addressing the Tibetans’ grievances.”
The adoption of the resolution coincided with Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay’s maiden visit to the island nation as Tibet’s de facto Prime Minister.
“We call on the Chinese government to respond positively to outstanding visit request from the Special Rapporteur on the freedom of religion or belief and halt the repression of human rights immediately,” the Japanese lawmakers said in the resolution.
33 Tibetans in Tibet have set themselves on fire since 2009, demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet. Chinese security personnel have resorted to open firing to quell peaceful protests by unarmed Tibetans, resulting in several deaths and injuries in recent months.
The Japanese parliamentarians, while expressing “serious concern” over the self-immolation protests in Tibet, called on the Chinese government to resume “direct and result-oriented dialogue” with the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration.
The resolution further urge Beijing to disclose the whereabouts and well being of Tibetans arrested in connection with the self-immolation protests and also pushed for independent media access to Tibetan areas.
According to the official website of the CTA, Dr Sangay, on the last day of five-day visit, briefed the parliamentarians in detail about the situation in Tibet and answered their questions.
Kalon Tripa visited Japan at the invitation of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Besides speaking to foreign correspondents in Tokyo and interacting exclusively with a group of Chinese overseas journalists, Dr Sangay delivered a talk on “Global warming with special emphasis on the fragile Tibetan environment” and addressed a conference titled “Freedom in Asia and the Wave of Democratisation,” organised by a leading Japanese think-tank.