Sikyong’s Visit Honoured by Canadian Member of Parliament


March 2, 2013 3:20 pm

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Mr Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Ottawa, on 26 February 2013.

DHARAMSHALA: Supporting Tibetan Political Leader Dr Lobsang Sangay’s visit to Canada on the floor of House, a member of Canadian Parliament and former minister has urged the government to press the Chinese government to hold dialogue with the Tibetan leadership to find a lasting solution to the problem of Tibet.

Mr Irwin Cotler, a current Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, said: “Our international human rights subcommittee received Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay, who provided compelling testimony on the ongoing repression and persecution of Tibetans by the Chinese government.”

“Dr Sangay spoke with great sadness of the 107 Tibetans since 2009 who have expressed the ultimate cry of protest through self-immolation, some just days ago, which we ignore both at their peril and our own, to protest against the occupation and environmental degradation of their lands; against arbitrary detention and forced disappearance; and against marginalization, cultural suppression and the denial of religious freedom.

“Tibetans value democracy, freedom and respect for the rule of law, while subscribing to the principle of non-violence in their pursuit of genuine autonomy pursuant to the Chinese constitution.

“Let us all join our voices with Dr. Sangay in calling on Canada to press China to dialogue with the Tibetan administration, to permit Canadian representatives to visit Tibet, and to work closely with the US, EU and international partners to end the persecution and pain of Tibetans,” Mr Cotler said in his statement. (View video)

Mr Irwin Cotler as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003-2006. He was a professor of law at McGill University and the director of its Human Rights Program from 1973 until his election as MP in 1999 for the Liberal Party of Canada. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Yale Law School and is the recipient of ten honorary doctorates.

Sikyong Meets Canadian Official Opposition leader

(From left-right) Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay with Mrs Peggy Nash and Mr. Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition in Canada, on 27 February 2013

The second day of Sikyong’s visit was dedicated to his testimony for the Canadian parliament subcommittee on international human rights, as well as to meetings with Canadian officials and media interviews.

During the parliamentary hearing, Dr Sangay answered questions relating to the extent of the oppression in Tibet and the harsh reality Tibetans live in. The Subcommittee members declared themselves to be impressed with the scope and clarity of the information provided, which will be extremely helpful in the pursuit of their undergoing study on Tibet human rights issues. The hearing can be viewed or downloaded here.

The hearing was followed by a very dynamic media scrum, attended by journalists from major Canadian media.

Also during the second day of his visit, Sikyong Dr Sangay gave several media interviews: Reuters, later quoted by the prestigious New York Times, Radio Free Asia, the popular TV show Power Play with Don Martin  (View video) and Embassy Magazine (View)

Another very important highlight of Sikyong Dr Sangay’s visit was his meeting with the Canadian Official Opposition leader, Mr Thomas Mulcair, and his team.