DHARAMSHALA, November 4: Canadian Ambassador to China, Guy Saint-Jacques has raised concern for human rights situation inside Tibet during his six-day visit to China and Tibet.
“Canada’s Ambassador to China recently had the opportunity to visit Tibet and raise concerns directly with officials,” said Canada’s foreign minister John Baird at the third Annual John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award ceremony in Vancouver last week.
Ambassador Saint-Jacques met with provincial and local officials to discuss developments in Tibet, including human rights and religious freedom in Tibet. Jacques had traveled to the Tibetan capital Lhasa and Shigatse prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region.
Jacques also visited a bakery in Shigatse funded by Canadian government and run by Tibet Disabled People’s Federation for visually impaired Tibetans. He also met with monks at Jokhang temple, Tashi Lhunpo monastery, seat of Panchen Lama, and Sera monastery and Potala Palace.
I certainly know that Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is absolutely committed to protecting and promoting human rights at home and abroad. Human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law are core Canadian values that this government is proud to uphold and celebrate,” Baird added.
Since 2009, 122 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet in protest against China’s hard-line policies.
In December last year, Baird had issued a statement urging China to lift restrictions to Tibetan areas for diplomats and journalists while calling for “substantive and meaningful dialogue” between Tibetan and Chinese representatives.
With the spate of self immolation inside Tibet by Tibetans aggravating, the Tibetan PM had in February urged the Canadian government to send its officials to Tibet to investigate the situation inside Tibet.