By Tenzin Dharpo
President Dr Sangay with Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and others at the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Photo_Canada Tibet Committee
DHARAMSHALA, June 7: The President of the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay has said Beijing’s lack of trust in the demands for genuine autonomy by the Tibetan side is impeding the dialogue between the two sides which was stalled since 2010. Dr. Sangay was speaking at a hearing before the Canadian Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa on Thursday.
The head of the Tibetan polity said that even though the Tibetan demand for autonomy under the Chinese framework is a lesser demand than what is already granted to Hong Kong, the Chinese government continues to view Tibet’s push for autonomy as having a “hidden agenda for independence” and that such lack of trust is impeding dialogue to resolve the issue. The proposal of the ‘Middle Way Approach’ is championed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and adopted by the CTA.
He praised the recent motion on Tibet made by Senator Thanh Hai Ngo calling on the Government of Canada to support the genuine autonomy of Tibet, and also called on Canada to ask for reciprocal diplomatic access to Tibet.
While speaking on the on the topic of “Update on the human rights situation in Tibet”, Dr. Sangay highlighted that the lack of religious freedom has not stymied the Tibetan people’s faith, saying that despite the Chinese government’s destruction of over 90 percent of Tibet’s monasteries and religious objects, Buddhism has risen in Tibet.
He also said that repression of Tibetans is ongoing under “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Tibet’s ongoing tragedy is “a litmus test for all countries in their support for human rights and democracy,” he said.
The hearing organized by the office of Honourable Senator Thanh Hai Ngo in collaboration with Canada Tibet Committee was joined by the Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, Alex Neve, and Shawn Steil, Executive Director, Greater China Policy and Coordination, Global Affairs Canada.