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Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay Receives Standing Ovation in the Canadian House of Commons

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Representative Penpa Tsering with Mr Arif Virani, chair of CPFT and other members of Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (CPFT).

OTTAWA: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay was given a standing ovation by members of the Canadian House of Commons following his visit to the parliament and meeting with members of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (CPFT).

Sikyong who is on a three-day visit to Ottawa, capital city of Canada, also met with leaders of the opposition party and other dignitaries. This is Sikyong’s first visit to Ottawa since the Liberal party came to power last year.

During the meetings, Sikyong held frank discussions on the grim political and human rights situation inside Tibet and expressed the Central Tibetan Administration’s commitment to resolve the Tibet issue through the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach.

Sikyong expressed concern over the destruction of Larung Gar monastery, one of the biggest institutions of Buddhist learning in Tibet and the anti-mining protests that took place in Dechen County (incorporated into China’s Yunnan Province).

As a result of Sikyong’s lobbying efforts, Canadian Parliamentarian Arif Virani, chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, delivered an enthusiastic statement on the floor of the Canadian parliament expressing his support for the just cause of Tibet. (watch video) Virani also praised Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and Mr Penpa Tsering, the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in North America, for their consistent advocacy of the Middle Way Approach to secure a peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue.

Sikyong also met Ms Rona Ambrose, leader of the opposition party in the Canadian Parliament. She expressed her deep respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and her support for the Tibetan people. Sikyong further met a host of other important Canadian leaders including Charlie Angus, chair of the new Democratic Party and J Greg Peters, Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada.

The Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (CPFT) hosted a reception for Sikyong in the evening to honour his visit. More than two-dozen members of the Canadian Parliament representing diverse political parties attended the reception. The gathering expressed their unanimous support for human rights and environmental protection in Tibet.

On the sidelines of the visit, Sikyong also spoke to members of the Canadian press including an interview with the Globe and Mail, the largest newspaper in Canada. An article was subsequently published in the paper the next day. Reuters also published a piece on Sikyong’s visit titled ‘Canada should be ready to press China over Tibet, says exiled PM’ on 23 November (IST).

Transcript of Arif Virani, Canadian MP and chair of CPFT’s statement on Sikyong on the floor of the Canadian Parliament:

Mr Speaker, I rise today to speak about Tibetan leader Dr Lobsang Sangay. His Holiness the Dalai Lama relinquished political leadership of the Tibetan community in 2011 and Dr Sangay was the first person elected to the post of Sikyong or government leader that same year.

Born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India, Dr Sangay is a Fulbright scholar and the first Tibetan to ever receive an SJD degree from Harvard. Thousands of Tibetans in my riding of Parkdale, High Park and around the world see Dr Sangay as a strong advocate for the middle way approach. The middle way seeks nothing more than a greater autonomy for Tibet within China. It is an approach that would peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and bring about stability and coexistence based on the concepts of equality and mutual cooperation.

I salute Dr Sangay, as well as Mr Penpa Tsering, the official representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for their important work in promoting awareness for the middle way approach. For their vital efforts, I say Tashi Delek