By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, November 28: The Tibetan President (Sikyong) Dr. Lobsang Sangay in an interview with CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, said that solving the issue of Tibet would give China a lot of credibility.
“If His Holiness the Dalai Lama could return to Tibet, if genuine autonomy is granted to Tibetan people, this is a win-win proposition because Chinese government and Chinese leaders want to enter into the inpoternational community as a responsible member,” the President said in Ottawa during his Canada tour earlier this month.
Sikyong said that he was hopeful despite spending 60 years in exile. Citing example of former US President Barack Obama handling ‘complicated issues’ of Iran and Cuba during his second term, Sikyong Sangay hopes that President Xi Jinping will enter into his second term with a similar precedent.
“If Xi Jinping wants, Tibet is a low hanging fruit, because we are non-violent, we are reasonable and His Holiness the Dalai Lama is liked and admired by people around the world,” he said.
There has been a lull in the dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese side since the last talk in 2010. Sikyong expressed his hope of President Xi in his second term to employ more liberal polices towards Tibetan people and to seek dialogue to resolve the issue of Tibet.
Explaining Middle Way Approach, he said, “Middle way is the middle of separation from China and repression of the Tibetan people. So what we say is if the Chinese government stops repression of the Tibetan people then we will not seek separation from China or independence from China. So we will be content with genuine autonomy as per Chinese laws and within China.”
Sikyong Sangay, currently in his second term, expressed hopes that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would too support the Middle Way Approach while supporting and accepting One China Policy, just like the US did under the Obama administration.
“One must have free trade relationship with China but should not give free-pass on human rights or democracy and Tibet issue. I hope they will stand up for Canadian value, Canadian principles of supporting human rights and democracy and something reasonable, that is genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people,” the 49 year-old Harvard graduate said.
The office of PM Trudeau ahead of his China visit from December 3-7 said that along with trades and business, the Canadian government would have ‘frank dialogue’ with China on topics such as human rights.