By Tenzin Monlam
file photo/Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, July 3: President of Tibetan government in exile, officially known as Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Dr. Lobsang Sangay expressing his concerns over the health of Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo called on the Chinese government to grant him permission to travel abroad to seek medical treatment.
Liu was released on medical parole on June 26 to receive treatment for liver cancer, which is said to be in its late-stage. The President has expressed his sadness on learning about his illness.
Joining in the plea for his proper medical treatment, Sangay said, “I urge the Chinese government to grant Liu Xiaobo and his family immediate permission on humanitarian grounds to travel abroad for medical treatment. I also join the global call and prayers for his recovery and sincerely hope that he gets to spend as much quality time as possible with his family.”
According to his lawyer, as of last week, he is being treated at a hospital in Shenyang of Liaoning Province.
The 61-year-old activist was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in 2009 for ‘inciting subversion of state power’ following his involvement in drafting a petition known as ‘Charter 08’, which calls for political reforms in China.
“On a positive note, I am inspired by the growing number of true democrats like Liu Xiaobo in China. The tide of democracy is gradually touching the shores of China and I am optimistic that Liu Xiaobo‘s vision of a truly democratic China will be realized soon in the near future,” he said.
He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China and since then his wife Liu Xia has been kept under house arrest without formally charging her with any crime.
According to the plea letter released by Freedom Now, a Washington-based advocacy organization, 154 Nobel Laureates including His Holiness the Dalai Lama have urged the Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to travel to the US for medical treatment.
“Time is running out. We urge the Chinese government on humanitarian grounds to grant Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia’s wish to travel to the United States for medical treatment,” the letter said.