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09thnovember-2011-canadaDharamshala: - On November 2, four Canadian members of Parliament representing all four federal political parties, showed their solidarity with Tibet in an address to the Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa.

Ms. Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, GP), Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East- Stoney Creek, NDP), Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib) and Mr. Gordon Brown (Leeds Greenville, CPC) elucidated the Canadian Parliament about their concern towards Tibet, and urged that the government take more proactive measures to support the situation.

On the same day, the Canada Tibet Committee, Victoria, organized a vigil in order to honour the 11 monks who self-immolated since March 2011, and to show their support of Tibet's religious, cultural and political freedom.

Ms. Elizabeth May said, "Canadian Tibetans are in vigil in solidarity with so many Tibetans who are experiencing oppression due to the Chinese government policies toward Tibet. The desperation of these people has now led to self-immolation acts, an act of desperation for anyone who understands Buddhist religion and culture. This is the sign that things have become a crisis for those in Tibet. In the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, "We must find a peaceful way forward".

On Oct 27, the European Parliament passed an urgency resolution on Tibet, expressing its deep concern about the matter of self-immolations and the ongoing Chinese crackdown on Tibet's religious and cultural freedom. It called on China to lift restrictions and heavy-handed security measures on the monasteries in the Sichuan province of Eastern Tibet, and allow independent international media and human rights monitors to assess the situation.

Commenting on the self-immolations, Mr. Wayne Marston said "These unprecedented and truly desperate acts are a cry to the outside world for help. China has intensified its violent crackdown in Ngaba and across Tibet. Tibetan monasteries continue to be sacked and monks continue to be sentenced without fair trial. It is time for the government to act. From Zurich, to San Diego, to Vancouver, to right outside our doors, people are coming together to seek justice for the people of Tibet".
He also urged that Canada work to ensure that the United Nations immediately deploy delegation to Ngaba to investigate the situation.

Hon. Irwin Cotler , in his address to the Canadian House of Commons, said "We call on the Chinese authorities to release those imprisoned simply because they exercised their right to freedom of religion and expression, to cease and desist from their assaults on the Tibetan people, and to enter into dialogue with the Tibetan leadership".

"We remain concerned about the arbitrary detention and treatment of political prisoners in Tibet and have raised the issue of Tibetans and other religious minorities in China in bilateral meetings and on the international stage, including at the United Nations General Assembly", said Mr. Gordon Brown.

"Our government takes the issue of religious freedom in China and around the world very seriously. The freedoms of religious belief and practice are at the heart of our principled foreign policy. We do not hesitate to raise such issues as part of mutually respectful, mature dialogue between our two countries and encourage substantive dialogue between Chinese leaders and religious minorities".

Each of the four speakers stood united in their plea that the Government of Canada, in alliance with world leaders, take a lead in coordinating an international response to condemn the Chinese government's repressive measures against the Tibetans. They expressed the need to open up constructive dialogue with Tibetan leadership in order to secure Tibetan rights.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com