Dharamshala: Following his arrival in Ottawa, Sikyong Penpa Tsering attended a reception hosted by the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet in honour of his visit. Sikyong Penpa Tsering was accompanied by Zeekyab Rinpoche and Representative Namgyal Choedup, at the reception on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
The ceremonial welcome reception was attended by Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, MP Arif Virani, Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, MP Randall Garrison, MP Elizabeth May, MP Garnett Genius, MP James Maloney, Mehmet Tohti, Executive Director of Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, Herb Davis, Canada Tibet Committee Advisor, Charles Burton, Assistant Professor of Politics at Brock University, among others.
In his preliminary remarks, Canadian MP Arif Virani introduced the guests of the reception to the gathering and congratulated Sikyong Penpa Tsering on his election (last year) as the head of CTA, followed by remarks on Tibet’s stolen child, 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. Zeekyab Rinpoche Tenzin Thupten Rapgyal, the abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the home monastery of the successive Panchen Lamas has specially accompanied the Sikyong during this visit to highlight the case of the 11th Panchen Lama.
Following a succinct briefing on his official visits to Europe and America since assuming office in May, Sikyong expressed his appreciation to the MPs for showing up to demonstrate their support for Tibet’s cause. Furthermore, Sikyong apprised the attendees about the large Tibetan community in Canada, making the country the second-most populated Tibetan diaspora community.
In addition, Sikyong elucidated Susanna Rijnhart, the first Canadian to visit Tibet in 1895 as an independent missionary, whose son Charles Carson became the first Canadian to be born and eventually to die in Tibet.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering later met Netzero’s Rafal and attended a reception organised by Canada Tibetan Committee.