Jan 29, 2018

Tibet: Lobsang Sangay Denounces Discrimination and Repression by China in Testimony Before EP Human Rights Subcommittee

Photo Courtesy of Erik Törner @Flickr 

On 24 January 2018, Lobsang Sangay, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration testified before the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), expressing his concern about cases of political, religious and language repression in Tibet, including the destruction of Buddhist learning institutes such as Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar. Both the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee have encouraged the European Parliament to support Tibet’s struggle to achieve autonomy as well as preservation of Tibetan language. 

The article below was published by Central Tibetan Administration:

The President of the Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay testified before the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament yesterday.

Acknowledging the recent urgent resolution passed by the European Parliament, Dr Sangay expressed that the resolution sends a “message to China” that the human rights issue is an issue of concern and interest to the European Parliament, and that it also sends a “message of hope” to the hundreds of Tibetans languishing in prisons inside Tibet for expressing their views and for asserting their human rights and environmental rights, he added.

Calling for “reciprocity” from the Chinese government, Dr Sangay highlighted the cultural, social and economic discrimination faced by the Tibetans in Tibet who have become a minority in their own land and deprived of the rights that are clearly provisioned in the constitution and by the Chinese law.

Briefing on the cases of political, religious and language repression in Tibet, Dr Sangay highlighted the demolitions of Larung Gar and Yarchen Gar, the case of Tibetan language rights advocate Tashi Wangchuk and of the 151 Tibetans who have self-immolated calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He further added that the Tibetans who are resorting to burning themselves alive, resorting to peaceful protest clearly contradicts the claim of the Chinese government that the Tibetans are content living in a socialist paradise.

Dr Sangay called for the implementation of rights that are universally defined. As the United Nation celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he added that the human rights situation in Tibet has taken a steep downfall.

Despite the notice of objection from the Chinese government, Parliamentarian Pier Antonio Panzeri who chaired the meeting expressed the presence of CTA President as a “great opportunity” to hear first-hand from a Tibetan leader about the challenges and his vision for the Tibetan community. He further assured the continuance of unrelenting commitment towards Tibet issue, which he added is “first and foremost issue of protection of universal human rights, cultural rights, freedom of religion and belief, protecting environmental rights and striving for stability through dialogue.”

Parliamentarian Laszlo Tokes, the Vice-Chair of the subcommittee, urged his colleagues to support Tibet’s endeavour to achieve genuine autonomy and expressed the crucial need to do so. He also added that the European Parliament needs to put more effort on minority rights and preservation of Tibetan language in Tibet.