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Nearly 3000 Students from eight countries listened to teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Three day annual teachings for youth began today. June 3, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being escorted to the teaching site at Tsuglakhang temple, May 13, 2019. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
More than a thousand Tibetans, Uyghurs and supporters protest in Paris to denounce China's repression in Tibet. Xi Jinping will be on an official visit to France from Monday. Under a canopy of flags with snow lions, protesters marched from the Trocadero Human Rights Square to the Peace Wall at the other end of the Champ de Mars. 25 March 2019. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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Canadian MP questions government on efforts to defend Tibetan political prisoners
[Wednesday, July 05, 2017 19:45]
By Tenzin Monlam

Randall Garrison, Canadian Member of Parliament/file
Randall Garrison, Canadian Member of Parliament/file
DHARAMSHALA, July 5: Canadian Member of Parliament Randall Garrison has approached Global Affairs Canada, department managing Canada’s humanitarian assistance, asking for a detailed information about efforts undertaken to defend Tibetan political prisoners.

The lawmaker has inquired about how the new guidelines have been applied in the cases of four Tibetan political prisoners - the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima; Tibetan language activist Tashi Wangchuk; blogger Shokjang; and medical doctor Yeshe Choedron.

Seeking clarifications, Garrison wrote, “What efforts have been made by the Government of Canada to encourage investigative missions to China by relevant UN human rights procedures including the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearance, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, in order to obtain updated information about the Panchen Lama case?”

The 11th Panchen Lama was only six years old when the Chinese government abducted the young lama in 1995. Even after 22 years in custody, the Chinese authorities have not provided any verifiable information or proof about him.

The last information on the missing lama was a statement by Norbu Dhondup, an official from the United Front Work Department of Tibet Autonomous Region, on September 6, 2015. Norbu had said that he (Panchen Lama) was being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed.

The request put forward by MP Garrison, the Vice-Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, is in accordance with the new guidelines adopted by the government in December 2016, which lay out official policy for supporting human rights defenders around the world.

With its guidelines prioritized to support human rights defenders, the government has to respond to the MP’s written questions within 45 days.

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Canadian MP questions government on efforts to defend Tibetan political prisoners
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