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A Push for Canada to Endorse Tibetan Autonomy

By Sarah Parsons West  /  June 15, 2017;

Canadian Parliamentarian (MP) Garnett Genuis
Photo: screengrab

Canadian Parliamentarian (MP) Garnett Genuis has expressed his personal concern for oppressed Tibetans Speaking in the House of Commons on June 12 he implored the Canadian government to further their political support. This comes less than two weeks after the United States announced they would cut future aid for the Tibetan cause.

MP Genuis spoke on the social and religious repression of Tibet, highlighting the violations of human rights in China through the demolition at Larung Gar Monastery, which is being radically reduced despite international opposition. He called for the Canadian government to not only support continued Sino-Tibetan dialogue, but to firmly endorse the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s Middle Way Approach which would provide genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the Chinese constitution.

Serving as the vice-chair of the Canada-Tibet Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, MP Genuis visited the Tibetan Exile headquarters in Dharamshala, meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, earlier this year. His proposed plan for support of the Tibetan struggle calls for a concrete motion, one similar to that passed by the European parliament – specifically condemning the demolition of Larung Gar.

Canadian MP Garnett Genuis with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on January 15, 2017
Photo : OHHDL

MP Genuis has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a distinct statement on the violation of human rights, citing the Freedom House 2016 report, which ranked Tibet second only to Syria as the worst place in the world for civil and political rights. He also mentioned Amnesty International’s report on the increased restrictions imposed on Tibetan monastic institutes by the Chinese government.

The appeal for Canadian support echoes that of the President of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile (Sikyong) Dr Lobsang Sangay, who called for such support during a visit to the country in November last year. At that time, the Sikyong stated, “The US government has come out in support of the Middle Way Approach. It would be nice and very appreciated if the Canadian government also supported the approach as well.”

With the recent disappointment of future American aid being halted, the Tibetan exile community is hopeful that the Canadian government will move beyond words, promoting real action for change.

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