By Tenzin Monlam
Garnett speaks during the hour for foreign policy in the House of Commons/screengrab
DHARAMSHALA, June 13: A Canadian lawmaker has urged the Canadian government to not just support Sino-Tibet dialogue but also endorse the exile Tibetan government’s stand of middle way approach. “Middle Way Policy that calls not for independence but for genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution. Canadian government has at different times called for dialogue but I think it should go to the nest step, and actually endorse the middle way approach,” said Garnett Genuis, MP (Conservative Party from Saskatchewan in Alberta).
“Certainly it is consistent with the principles of self determination of people that is established in international law, that this government is supposed to believe in,” Garnett said during the discussion on Canadian Foreign Policy at the House of Commons in Ottawa on Monday.
Garnett, who visited the exile headquarters and met the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier this year, also asked his government to condemn the Chinese government’s demolition of Larung Gar Buddhist center. “In 2016, Chinese government began destruction of Larung Gar, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist Centers in the world, with plans to downsize it by fifty percent and evict half of its 10,000 plus residents. The evictees are forced to sign a document pledging to neither return to the institute nor continue their practice in their hometown,” he said.
The Canadian legislator who was named one of the most outspoken MPs in the House of Commons by Maclean’s Magazine
also cited 2016 Freedom House report which ranked Tibet “in the second worst in the political and civil rights after Syria. “Similarly, Amnesty International reported on the increasing restriction on Tibet’s monastic institutes by the Chinese government.”
He also suggested that the House of Commons should follow the footsteps of European parliament which adopted an emergency resolution on Tibet in 2016, condemning the demolition of Larung Gar and calling for the resumption of dialogue between China and the Tibetan representatives.