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Canadian Foreign Minister reiterates support for Sino-Tibetan dialogue

October 01, 2018

October 1, 2018 – Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has reiterated Canada’s support for human rights in Tibet and for “substantive and meaningful” dialogue between the Government of China and envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  [1]

The Minister stopped short of formally endorsing the “middle-way approach for genuine autonomy” put forward by the Central Tibetan Administration as its platform for dialogue with China. She did however highlight many priority elements of the platform including freedom of expression, freedom of religion, cultural assimilation and linguistic rights.  [2]

“Canada has unique experience negotiating autonomy arrangements with its provinces and territories and with indigenous communities”, said Sherap Therchin, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee.  “That experience serves as an interesting template for a new round of Sino-Tibetan talks.”

In her statement, Minister Freeland also said that Canada is “seriously concerned” about the human rights situation in Tibet which, she added, is “in violation of China’s international obligations and at odds with its constitution”.

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[1] The Minister’s statement came in response to an order paper question submitted in June by Member of Parliament Randall Garrison (Vice Chair of the Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet).  The order paper question #1859 can be accessed at https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/house/sitting-319/order-notice/page-9 .  Minister Freeland’s response is found at https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/house/sitting-319/hansard

[2] The middle-way approach is described in the Central Tibetan Administration’s Memorandum of Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People,  http://tibet.net/important-issues/sino-tibetan-dialogue/memorandum-on-geniune-autonomy-for-the-tibetan-people/

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