News and Views on Tibet

Canadian parliament unanimously passes motion supporting Tibetan people’s self-determination

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The Canadian House of Commons (Image/Simple Wikipedia)

By Tenzin Nyidon 

DHARAMSHALA, June 13: Canadian MP Alexis Brunnelle-Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois on Monday presented a motion in the House of Commons supporting the right of Tibetans to self-determination. The motion recognises Tibetans as “people and a nation” with the right to choose their own social, economic, cultural, and religious policies, including the selection of the next Dalai Lama. 

The motion was unanimously passed by the parliament, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not present during the vote. The motion states, “This House recognises that China is carrying out a policy of systemic cultural assimilation against Tibetans; that Tibetans, as a people and a nation, can claim the right to self-determination; as such, they are empowered to freely choose their economic, social, cultural, and religious policies without interference from any external power; that this empowerment prohibits China from interfering in the choice of the next Tibetan spiritual leader, the eventual successor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.”

Screen grab of MP Alexis Brunnelle-Duceppe addressing the Canadian House of Commons on June 10, 2024

This legislative endorsement coincided with Canada Tibet Lobby Days (CTLD) 2024 and followed a series of meetings by CTA President Penpa Tsering, Representative Dr. Namgyal Choedup, and Canada Tibet Committee Chairperson Samphe Lhalungpa with Bloc Québécois leaders in Montreal, Ottawa, and Washington DC. These meetings highlighted concerns about the deteriorating situation in Tibet.

The Tibetan political leader, Sikyong Penpa Tsering wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Canada’s unanimous passage of motion reaffirming Tibetan self-determination sends a strong message to Tibetans in Tibet that their resilience is not forgotten. Thank you MP Alexis Brunnelle-Duceppe @BlocQuebecois for your leadership & all the political parties for their support,” 

Bloc MP Julie Vignola also took to X after the vote, remarking, “The motion adopted today represents more than a year of discussions and negotiations.”

In December 2022, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously passed a motion recognising the Middle Way Policy, the official policy of the Central Tibetan Administration, and advocated for dialogue between Tibetan representatives and the Chinese government. This motion was presented by Canadian MP Garnett Genuis.

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