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Tibetan Rights Groups Reject China’s attempt to Whitewash Human Rights Crisis in Tibet

May 16, 2018

Student for Free Tibet, May 9, 2018- Yesterday, the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) Delegate Baima Wangdui (Pema Wangdue) spoke before the Canadian Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on the current situation in Tibet. The Chinese-Appointed official spoke on the improvement of economic, cultural, religious and environmental conditions in Tibet after the so-called “liberation” by Chinese troops in 1959. He also specified that Tibet was open to international visitors, including Tibetans, as long as they were aligned with China’s Tibet policy. After the testimonial, Canadian MPs were united in their concerns for current high-level political prisoners Panchen Lama and language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, and the degrading state of human rights in Tibet.

“We are not surprised by both the update and the responses to critical questions on human rights by the Chinese-appointed Pema Wangdue,” said Sonam Chokey, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet Canada. She added, “What we saw today was an exercise in propaganda dissemination. He spoke on language preservation, completely in Chinese, but claimed language activist Tashi Wangchuk was a separatist. He spoke on religious freedom but failed to provide evidence on Panchen Lama, a religious figure kidnapped since age 6. He spoke on infrastructure development and left out that it is Han Chinese, not Tibetans who enjoy these facilities most since Tibetans are treated as second-class citizens. Tibetans in Tibet have no freedom of movement either - their passports are confiscated after visiting India, and unlike Han Chinese, Tibetans have to go through numerous checkpoints when visiting Lhasa. We understand Pema Wangdue is obligated to speak China’s propaganda, but we also categorically reject China’s attempt to whitewash their atrocities in Tibet through appointed officials’ testimonials.”

Sherap Therchin, Executive Director of Canada Tibet Committee responded to the hearing, saying, “What Baima Wangdui (Pema Wangdue) said at the Committee meeting is nothing new. It’s the same old propaganda about the liberation of Tibetans from the feudal system, economical developments and other false stories. However, these do not seem to be the main goals here. The main goal here seems to be leaving an impression that Tibetans have been given the opportunity to take leadership roles and that they speak for Tibetans inside Tibet.” He added, “It would be a tragedy if the international community believes they speak for Tibetans inside Tibet.”

Students for a Free Tibet Canada is based in Toronto, with its international headquarters in New York, and works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, we campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. Our role is to empower and train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.

The Canada Tibet Committee defends and promotes human rights and democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people.  The CTC monitors developments inside Tibet and builds public awareness in Canada through its outreach activities.  The CTC encourages support for Tibet from the Government and Parliament of Canada by engaging current foreign policy debates in Canada, organizing policy seminars and cultural events, conducting research and publishing reports and collaborating with like-minded organizations across Canada.

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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