TOKYO: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay addressed the students and faculty of the prestigious Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) University on Monday, 11 January. The talk was held as part of Sikyong’s effort to raise international awareness on the grim political situation prevailing inside Tibet, during his ongoing visit to Japan.
In his address, Sikyong spoke about the occupation of Tibet and Tibetan political movement led by the Central Tibetan Administration to restore freedom for the Tibetan people.
Sikyong also briefly explained the Chinese government’s narrative on the Tibet issue including their claims of sovereignty over Tibet, the peaceful liberation of Tibet from serfdom and ‘the golden era’ in Tibet proclaimed by China.
Refuting these claims, Sikyong clarified that Tibet was an independent country with a written history of over 2000 years as evidenced by the peace treaty signed between China and Tibet in 821. “The stone pillars on which the treaty was engraved is still standing,” Sikyong said,adding that even some Chinese historians have voiced their opinion about this inaccuracy.
Sikyong explained that Tibet had its own administration system including its own postal system, currency and judiciary prior to China’s occupation of Tibet.
Elaborating on the ‘peaceful liberation of Tibet’ claimed by China, Sikyong remarked that that the occupation of Tibet was never a peaceful liberation,rather it was a military invasion. “Tibetans were promised development and progress. Yet, the Communist Chinese army came and killed thousands of Tibetans. In view of all this injustice meted out to the Tibetans, a 70,000-character petition was submitted by the 10th Panchen Lama, in protest in 1963 to Mao Zedong,” Sikyong recalled.
Sikyong also expressed deep concern over the geopolitical tension arising due to melting of glaciers on the Tibetan plateau which could lead to wars over over water in the future.
Sikyong also paid tribute to the 142 Tibetans who have set themselves on fire for the cause of Tibet and explained that the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans have been the major calls of the self-immolators.
“The Central Tibetan Administration has repeatedly urged Tibetans not to resort to drastic actions such as self-immolations. However, self-immolation protests against the Chinese government have continuously escalated since 2009. This clearly shows the critical situation of the Tibetan people inside Tibet and their reverence for His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” said Sikyong.
Sikyong also highlighted the irony in the Chinese government’s attempts to hijack the right to recognise the reincaration of the current His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On the one hand, they call His Holiness as a ‘devil’ or a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ while on the other hand, Chinese government is shamelessly claiming it as their right to find the reincarnation of His Holiness,” Sikyong mused.
The talk was followed by a question and answer session.
Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) is a reputed University in Japan, which has offered scholarship for five Tibetan students from India. Formal announcement of the scholarship will be made in due course of time.