Sikyong urges European leaders to hold China accountable for human rights abuses in Tibet

Sikyong explains the Global Significance of the Tibetan Plateau to students and members of Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO) in mid-May, 2024. (Photo: CTA)

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Berlin — Sikyong Penpa Tsering, from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), recently visited several European countries and urged European leaders to hold the Chinese government accountable for human rights violations in Tibet. He also urged the leaders to adopt Tibet Policy and Support Act similar to those of the United States.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering visited Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Austria from early May to May 18 2024 and met with officials, parliamentarians and members of the European Parliament from these countries. He discussed the dire situation in Tibet, the threat posed by the Chinese government to the survival of Tibetan culture and Buddhist traditions, including the unprecedented Sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the Tibetan language, Chinese state-run colonial boarding schools in Tibet, and the Chinese government's repression of peaceful Tibetan demonstrations in Dege County, Tibet.

Sikyong also urged European leaders and MEPs to adopt a definitive position on the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, similar to that adopted by the US government, rejecting any interference by the Chinese government in this purely religious issue. He also urged leaders to hold the Chinese government accountable for human rights violations in Tibet including its operation of colonial style boarding schools in Tibet.

Sikyong also warned of the economic consequences of Europe's trade deficit with China, pointing out that China's foreign exchange surplus fuels its aggressive agenda, including investment in space technology and the expansion of debt economies in regions such as Africa and South Asia. He called for a coordinated multilateral strategy to combat China's economic colonialism.

“We urge all democratic nations to view us not as victims, but as partners in driving positive change in China. Achieving meaningful change in China requires both internal and external efforts. In this context, we Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Chinese pro-democracy activists, and even Taiwanese, represent the internal forces,” Sikyong Penpa Tsering told the leaders.

Sikyong also informed the Tibet Support Groups of European Parliamentarians about the worldwide celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 90th birthday, which will take place from July 6, 2025 to July 6, 2026. He proposed that the groups take the initiative to organise special events celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama's message of peace and non-violence as part of the year-long festivities.

Sikyong also met with young Tibetans and members of the Tibetan communities in these countries and highlighted the democratic structure of the central Tibetan administration as well as the 16th Kashag's policy of seeking formal recognition of Tibet's independent historical status in order to add value to the Middle Way Approach, a policy advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and unanimously adopted by the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.