OTTAWA: Tibetan political leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay has reiterated that the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala is committed to resume dialogue with the Chinese government to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.
“The Middle Way Approach is the official policy of the Central Tibetan Administration which seeks genuine autonomy within the framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China,” said Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay at the public talk organised by the Canada Tibet Committee in Montreal on 25 Nov. The public talk was preceded by a 7-minute video on the Middle Way Approach produced by the Department of Information and International Relations. He said since 2009, 132 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet because of political repression, economic marginalisation environmental destruction in Tibet.
In response to a question on Sino-Tibetan dialogue, the Sikyong said, the dialogue between the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government is in stalemate since 2010 due to suspicion and lack of positive response from the Chinese side. He reiterated the Tibetan leadership’s transparent approach and its willingness to meet with the Chinese government representatives anytime and anywhere.
Before departing Halifax, Sikyong had a brief meeting with 13 Tibetans residing in the city since 2008. Later in the evening the Sikyong met with the Tibetan Community members of Montreal. In his remarks, he said the purpose of his visit to Canada and America was to attend the 2014 Halifax International Security Forum, and to meet with Tibetan communities in Montreal and Ottawa, the two communities he hadn’t visited. The Sikyong also mentioned the remarkable exam result of Tibetan schools in India, which has improved by manifold in the last four years. He said the Department of Education has increased scholarship and provided incentives for better performance. He said the present Kashag has worked hard during the last three years and was making good progress in its mission and thanked everyone for their support. “The Tibetan people have international support and it is mainly due to leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the humility, integrity and resilience of the Tibetan people,” said the Sikyong. He also spoke on the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014, recently formalised by the Government of India which enables Tibetans to enjoy benefits of Indian central and state government schemes. This policy will help Tibetans to also apply and take jobs in the fields like nursing, teaching, Chartered Accountancy, medicine, engineering and such other skilled-based occupations.
During his one-day visit to Ottawa on 25 November, the Sikyong had luncheon meeting with the members of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet and met with Canadian government officials. He sat for an interview with the Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s largest newspapers. In the interview, he said, “Any country having any kind of business relationship with China, is that country’s prerogative. But any company looking to invest in Tibet will need to be culturally and environmentally sensitive to Tibetans and ensure that projects also hold economic benefits for local residents. We are concerned that Canada’s push to boost economic ties with China could lead to investment that don’t respect Tibetan culture or spirituality.”
Addressing the Tibetan community in Ottawa, the Sikyong said he was glad that the resettlement project was going well and that the new arrivals were making a smooth transition as Canadian residents. He said, “it is necessary to work hard but at the same time new arrivals should study well. If you get some kind of degree you will get better job, better job means better income.” He also spoke on the Middle Way Policy and the scholarship program of the Department of Education. The Sikyong mentioned Tibet Corps and encouraged Tibetans to come to Dharamsala and serve the CTA and the community. There are around 133 Tibetans living in Montreal and 50 in Ottawa.
On 26 Nov, the Sikyong left for Burlington, Vermont, where he will meet and address the Tibetan Community.