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Canadian Parliamentarian Vows to Support Tibet
Office of Tibet, New York[Sunday, January 02, 2005 02:36]
NEW YORK, December 31 - Yvan Loubier, a member of Parliament from the Bloc Quebecois party, said that elected representatives of free countries have a responsibility to respond to the Tibetan's call for help.

"The trading associations or diplomatic relations between Canada or Quebec and China cannot justify the politicians' deafening silence in face of such genocide," he said.

"From January 9th to January 14th 2005, I will be taking part in the 13th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Ha Long City, Vietnam. I will try to honorably represent Quebec at this forum and I will use every opportunity I have to discuss the Tibetan issue with the Chinese representatives attending the Forum. I will also try to convince them to engage in negotiations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarding the liberation of the Tibetan people. I firmly intend to say that I will not passively accept the Tibetan genocide and that Quebec cannot subordinate its most fundamental convictions to economic or political justifications."


The following is the full text of his statement in French, as translated by Canada Tibet committee:

For many years, I have been haunted by an important question regarding the duty of all the elected representatives. What is my duty? In theory, I should defend the interests of those who voted for me: their jobs, their security, and their future prospects. I am also accountable for their fundamental and democratic rights.

Yet when I cried after watching the movie "What Remains of Us", dealing with the Tibetan tragedy, my heart as well as my mind pointed out to me that my most important responsibility is to be of assistance to all human beings, especially those experiencing distress.

For about ten years, politicians such as me have been careful not to treat China too harshly, thinking that in that country, important economic and geopolitical interests were to be found and that the best way to encourage China to adopt a policy of conciliation and human rights respect would be not to upset the regime too much. The vested interests of our companies making business with China must also be protected. And as a Member of Parliament from the Bloc Quebecois party, I must defend the interests of all those from Quebec.

Now, when one thinks about it, Québec is made up first and foremost made up of human beings, just like Tibetans who are victims of nothing less than genocide. Imagine for one moment that it is the people of Quebec who are being immersed in this day-to-day hell, where one is not allowed to speak one's own language or to practice one's religion and where every single human right is being violated? Tibetans are being imprisoned, tortured and killed every day for committing one single crime: asserting their identity. Imagine our distress in such a situation. Imagine our need to find help outside our borders.

My duty - and that of all the elected representatives of the free countries- consists in responding to the Tibetan's call for help, and that, in spite of all the reasons that could be brought up in order to silence me. The trading associations or diplomatic relations between Canada or Quebec and China cannot justify the politicians' deafening silence in face of such genocide.

We cannot discuss cultural diversity if we do not work with all our might towards convincing China that diversity starts with a respect of Tibet and if we don't increase the amount of actions and pressure we engage in order to put an end to the oppression the Tibetans are subject to.

From January 9th to January 14th 2005, I will be taking part in the 13th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Ha Long City, Vietnam. I will try to honorably represent Quebec at this forum and I will use every opportunity I have to discuss the Tibetan issue with the Chinese representatives attending the Forum. I will also try to convince them to engage in negotiations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarding the liberation of the Tibetan people. I firmly intend to say that I will not passively accept the Tibetan genocide and that Quebec cannot subordinate its most fundamental convictions to economic or political justifications.

Millions of human beings in Quebec and worldwide must think along these lines. We must be hundreds of millions. May each one do his or her part and respond to the Tibetans' cry for help. As for myself, I will do it with humility and perform what is my duty. I urge all Québec's elected representatives, and those of all the world's countries, to do likewise.

Yvan Loubier, Bloc Québécois
Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot
CANADA
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  Readers' Comments »
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH (Dhondup)
Thank you (Tenzin)
Yvan Loubier (julie sloan)
Universal Responsibility (N.Fleming-Stuart)
Heartfelt thanks! (Tib-girl)
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