Dharamshala: A day after his arrival to the United Kingdom on 24 April, Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration took part in a webinar titled “Seventy-two Years of Chinese Colonial Rule in Tibet” organised by The Democracy Forum, a not-for-profit NGO which promotes ideals of democracy.
Sikyong highlighted China’s desire to be responsible for the reincarnated Dalai Lama, and how many young Tibetans are now self-immolating in protest at their plight, and in the hope that the international community will come to their aid when addressing the webinar.
On 25 April, Sikyong was hosted at the UK parliament by the co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Tibet, MP Tim Loughton, and members MP Kerry McCarthy and MP Wera Hobhouse for an in-depth discussion on the Sino-Tibet conflict where he briefly met with Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, and observed the proceedings of the House of Commons. He also met with the Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament, MP Alicia Kearns, at Portcullis House as part of his official engagement earlier on that same day.
Apart from that, Sikyong testified before the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), one of the largest all-party parliamentary groups in the UK Parliament, on Religious Freedom in Tibet at the UK Parliament. The abbot of Tashi Lhunpo monastery, Ven Zeekyab Rinpoche; the Tibetan former political prisoner and niece of late Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Nyima Lhamo, and Representative Sonam Frasi from Office of Tibet, London accompanied Sikyong at the hearing.
Before concluding his engagements in England, Sikyong spoke on issues concerning human rights, Tibetan democracy in exile, and the Tibet-China conflict at Fyvie Hall of the University of Westminster on 26 April. The talk was hosted by the university’s Centre for the Study of Democracy and was organised by Prof Dibyesh Anand, the Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Westminster.