Motion on Tibet

This Senate Motion, introduced on Thursday, March 21, 2019, seeks to raise awareness of the serious and recurring human rights abuses committed against the Tibetan people at the hands of the Chinese Communist, and to consequently urge greater action from the Canadian Government.

Click here or below to view the Senator’s notice of motion in the Senate Chamber. A full transcript of the Senate Debates (Senate Sitting no. 273) are also available online.


Text of the Motion on Tibet

That the Senate urge the Government of Canada to actively support the genuine autonomy of Tibet and, consequently, to also call for the People’s Republic of China to:

(a)       renew the Sino-Tibetan dialogue in good faith and based on the Middle Way Approach;

(b)       respect the linguistics rights, freedom of movement, thought, conscience and religion of the people in Tibet;

(c)        free all Tibetan political prisoners, and cease all arbitrary detention of dissidents; and

(d)       grant Canada reciprocal diplomatic access to Tibet without limitations;

That the Senate also urge the Government of Canada to acknowledge the Dalai Lama’s appointment of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima as the official eleventh Panchen Lama; and

That a message be sent to the House of Commons to acquaint it with the foregoing.

Background Information

Restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms – including freedom of expression, religion, movement, and conscience – are severely curtailed and increasingly repressive in Tibet.

Tibet has been ruled since 1950 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has been divided into the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and 12 Tibetan autonomous prefectures. To date, China continues to face criticism regarding its human rights violations in the TAR and the prefectures.

According to Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2017 report, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) received the worst possible rating for both political rights and civil liberties.

Human Rights Watch has also reported that several of the Chinese government’s national security and anti-terrorist laws in fact make it easier to violate civil rights under the guise of protecting national security.

This Motion serve to raise awareness of the human rights abuses in Tibet and urge the Government of Canada to raise Tibetan issues at every opportunity with China would address the intensifying restrictions against basic rights and freedoms of the Tibetan population.

In details…

Specifically, this Senate motion would urge the Government of Canada to take a stronger action with China in support of the genuine autonomy Tibet on the following points:

(a) renew the Sino-Tibetan dialogue in good faith and based on the Middle Way Approach;

This would mean calling upon the People’s Republic of China to renew Sino-Tibetan dialogue based on the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way Approach” of self-rule and autonomy with the framework of the People’s Republic of China

(b) respect the linguistics rights, freedom of movement, thought, conscience and religion of the people in Tibet;

In recent years, experts have observed an increasing level of control and stringent regulations exerted by the Chinese Communist Party on the Tibetan people in regards to their fundamental rights and freedoms, including their linguistics rights and freedom of movement, thought, conscience and religion.

For instance, China has implemented highly intrusive surveillance systems within Tibet that restrict travel and track the movement of individuals in efforts to curb dissent.

Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2017 report on Tibet outlines the restrictions on freedom and gave the TAR the worst possible rating for both political rights and civil liberties.

In particular, the same report stated that there has been an increase in the degree of persecution towards Tibetan Buddhists, which Freedom House categorized overall as “very high.”

While the Chinese constitution protects freedom of religion for all citizens, numerous reports indicate that individuals have been arrested, unjustly detained, forced out of their homes and have disappeared due to their religious practices.

(c) free all Tibetan political prisoners, and cease all arbitrary detention of dissidents; and

At every opportunity, the Government of Canada must call upon the People’s Republic of China to free all Tibetan political prisoners and cease all arbitrary detention of dissidents. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recorded 479 cases of Tibetans detained or tried for “political offences” between 2013 and 2015.

HRW’s 2019 World Report states that there were clear findings by UN human rights experts that many of charges against dissidents are baseless and, as a result, political prisoners are detained unlawfully and are tortured or ill-treated while in custody.

(d) grant Canada reciprocal diplomatic access to Tibet without limitations;

The motion would also serve to encourage the PRC to grant Canada reciprocal diplomatic access to the Tibet without limitations.

It has been documented that foreign access to the TAR is often denied or impeded with a strategic purpose to prevent Canada’s diplomatic efforts from advancing universal human rights and freedoms.

Through this motion, Canada would demand reciprocity in access to Tibet for Canadian government representatives, by encouraging the People’s Republic of China to conform to internationally recognized diplomatic principles with regards to the TAR.

In doing so, the Canadian government can play a significant role in promoting and protecting basic human rights and freedoms in Tibet.

That the Senate also urge the Government of Canada to acknowledge the Dalai Lama’s appointment of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima as the official eleventh Panchen Lama; and

A final step, this Senate motion would urge the Government of Canada to acknowledge the appointment of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima as the official eleventh Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama, who represents the Tibetan Buddhists’s most important spiritual leader.

As the Dalai Lama represents Tibetan Buddhists’ most important spiritual leader, the Chinese Communist Party seeks to restrict his decision-making power and delegitimize his choice for the succeeding Panchen Lama.

Canada’s acknowledgement, and reaffirmation with Chinese counterparts, of the Dalai Lama’s appointment of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima as the next Panchen Lama is therefore integral to the promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms in Tibet.

Quote

The Chinese authorities tightly restrict all news media and independent expression in Tibet. Individuals who use the Internet, social media, or other means to disseminate dissenting views or share politically sensitive content face arrest and stiff penalties. This includes Tibetan cultural expression, which the authorities associate with separatism and is subject to especially harsh restrictions.”

– Senator Thanh Hai Ngo




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