Canadian Parliament’s Human Rights Panel To Look Into Tibetan Self-Immolations

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 31, 2013 4:31 PM EST

Vice President of the Tibetan Youth Congress, Dhondup Lhadar, Tuesday briefly updated the Canadian House of Commons about the wave of Tibetan self-immolations in protest against the Chinese government.

The Tibetan leader along with the organization's general secretary, Tenzin Choekyi, have been lobbying the Canadian leaders for last one month.

Speaking to the International Business Times, the general secretary said that the organization was summoned to testify the deteriorating human rights situations inside Tibet.

"The subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament will be commencing its study of the human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China with the beginning of the new year, and inviting Tibetan Youth Congress to update about the ongoing situations inside Tibet is a part of that," said the general secretary. 

According to the organization, 99 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 in Tibet, and more than eighty of them self-immolated last year.

Noting Canada's business with China, Dhondup said that the invitation offered to him by the House of Commons proves that Canadians value human rights over business with Beijing.

"The fact that you have given me this opportunity to stand before you is a clear indication of your support for Tibet and its people in their pursuit for freedom. It also shows Canada's strength and courage to face China," said the Tibetan leader in the testimony.

The Canadian government is one of the strongest humanitarian supporters to the Tibetans in exile and Canada is planning to issue immigration visas to one thousand Tibetans in exile this year.

However, Dhondup said that Canadian companies doing business with China "such as Continental Minerals, Lara Exploration, Eldorado Gold, Inter-Citic Minerals Inc., Sterling Group Ventures, Bombardier, Vancouver-based China Gold International Resources Corp ltd., and Nexen-CNOOC are indirectly funding Communist China's human rights abuses and it is undermining Tibet's unique culture, language, tradition and its fragile ecosystem."

In an interview with People's Daily Online, Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques said that the relationship between Canada and China had entered the best period in history.

"Chinese has become the third most spoken language in Canada following English and French. There are about 600,000 Chinese living in Toronto, the biggest city in Canada," reported People's Daily Online Wednesday.

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