DHARAMSHALA, April 10: Three Canadian Parliamentarian has written a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to make Tibet a priority in Canadian foreign policy, and to lead an international effort for Tibet.
"We write to respectfully request that you make Tibet a priority for Canadian foreign policy this year, especially given the courageous protests taking place in Tibet and the Chinese government's violent and massive repressions of Tibetan rights," the letter reads.
The letter dated March 19, 2013 was signed by Peggy Nash, David Sweet and Irwin Cotler and was raised during the 5th Annual Tibet Lobby Day in Ottawa in March.
The letter also called upon the Canada to work closely with US, members of the European Union and other like-minded governments to bring about immediate and long-term improvements in the human rights situation in Tibet.
"Canada should take a leading role in initiating a visible, public and coordinated group on Tibet as an effective measure to pressure the Chinese government to reverse the crisis."
The continuing crisis in Tibet has a series of self-immolations that has now seen 114 Tibetans set themselves on fire since 2009. Calling the situation inside Tibet "heightened urgency" the MPs said it requires action.
The MPs urged the PM Harper to lead in initiating a multi-lateral forum on Tibet, send the Ambassador of the Office of Religious Freedom to investigate the reasons behind the rise in self-immolations in Tibet and to urge the Chinese government to allow independent monitors into Tibet without media restrictions.
"We welcome the MPs' call for Prime Minister Harper to lead an international effort with like-minded governments to bring about immediate and long-term improvements in the human rights situation in Tibet," said Urgyen Badheytsang, SFT Canada's National Director.
"We call on the Canadian government to immediately respond to this letter and avail themselves of every opportunity for multilateral discussion on solutions to the Tibet crisis, starting tomorrow on April 10th when Foreign Minister Baird will join his colleagues at a G8 preparatory meeting in London," he added.
In March, parliamentarian David Sweet raised the issue of Tibet in the House of Commons and called upon Xi Jinping to meet with the leaders of the Tibetan Government-in-exile.
"I would like to note that the world is now watching how President Jinping's government lives by those words and lives up to those expectations with regard to the situation in Tibet," said Sweet.