By Tenzin Monlam
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay and Representative Penpa Tsering with Canadian MP Arif Virani, chair of CPFT and other members of Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet on November 22, 2016. Photo- Tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, NOV. 25: The Tibetan Prime Minister (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay has urged the Canadian government to send an independent fact-finding delegation to assess the real situation inside Tibet. The Tibetan leader was speaking at a session with Canada’s Parliamentary subcommittee on International Human Rights.
In his testimony, Sangay condemned the ongoing demolition of Larung Gar saying the move to reduce the total strength of the institution to half is ‘infringement’ of right to freedom of religion.
Calling for an immediate resumption of dialogue between Dharamshala and Beijing to resolve the Tibet issue, he said, “The CTA is ready anytime, anywhere for dialogue but we lamented the lack of positive response from the Chinese.”
The Montreal-based NGO, Canada Tibet Committee (CTC), presented a report to the subcommittee on promoting genuine autonomy in Tibet through Middle Way Approach (MVA) and Canada’s role in it.
“The paper cites examples of autonomy in the Canadian experience (Quebec and Nunavut) and argues that they offer a value-added role for Canada in re-energizing the stalled Sino-Tibetan dialogue,” CTC wrote in their covering note.
The report also highlighted that despite having a legal and policy framework that could in theory bring genuine autonomy to Tibet, it has proved illusory in reality. Moreover, autonomous regions including TAR have not demonstrated the ability to independently amend regulations.
The NGO’s recommendations to the subcommittee include sending subcommittee’s delegation to Dharamshala to discuss with parliamentarians and officials, to publically endorse MWA and encouraging the Canadian government to establish a diplomatic presence in Tibet.
Attended by Canadian MPs, representatives from Canadian political parties and human rights organizations, MP David Sweet at the hearing explained the need for an increased global attention on Tibetan issue, especially from Canada.