Bratislava, Slovakia: President Dr Lobsang Sangay, Central Tibetan Administration arrived on his maiden visit to Bratislava on Wednesday. President Dr Sangay kicked off his engagements with a meeting with the Honorable Deputy Speaker of the Slovakia Parliament, Lucia Duris Nicholsonova.
President Dr Sangay briefed her on the current situation in Tibet and underlined the viability and the mutually beneficial aspect of the Middle Way Approach to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue.
Honorable Lucia Duris Nicholsonova expressed her concerns over the situation inside Tibet and the Tibetan people. She welcomed President Sangay to visit Slovakia anytime. President Sangay, in turn, thanked the government and people of Slovakia for their support and solidarity with the Tibetan people. On behalf of all the Tibetans, he presented her with Kashag’s souvenir as a symbol of gratitude.
President Dr Sangay later met the Slovak Parliamentary group for Tibet led by Martin Poliačik, MP of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (the national parliament of Slovakia) and member of the Progressive Slovakia political party.
Others present were MP Jozef Viskupič, MP Ondrej Dostál and MP Viera Dubačová.
At the meeting, President Sangay deliberated on China’s development without democracy and how Xi Jinping’s new mantra of Socialism with Chinese characteristics raises the question of whether China can transform you or you can transform China.
President Sangay also pointed out that severe repression and the grave situation inside Tibet is the reason for China’s tenacious efforts to prevent any discussion on Tibet.
“The Freedom House in its annual 2018 report, ‘Freedom in the World’, continues to list Tibet as the second least free region in the world. Similarly, Reporters Without Borders reported that journalists’ access to Tibet is more difficult than that of North Korea. China claims that Tibetans in Tibet leads a content life. Then why did the 152 Tibetans set themselves on fire? The Central Tibetan Administration has repeatedly and categorically asked them to refrain from this form of protest. If reducing the number of monks and nuns in Larung Gar and Yachengar Buddhist Institutes to 2000 and 3000 respectively is the right process, why would three nuns commit suicide?” President said, drawing the attention of the parliamentarians towards the grim situation inside Tibet.
He similarly highlighted the threat of the Chinese government’s mining and damming activities on the fragile natural environment of Tibet. President spoke about the One Belt One Road initiative of China being similar to what the Chinese Communist party did to Tibet.
On a more positive note, President Sangay praised the strong mountain spirit of the Tibetans, saying that Tibetan identity is even stronger in Tibet and also cited the popularity of celebrating Lhakar amongst the younger generations of Tibetans. Finally, President Sangay asserted that the mutually beneficial, non-violent and dialogue based ‘Middle Way Approach’ as proposed by the Tibetans side for resolving the issue of Tibet can be a model of conflict resolution to a world beset by violent conflicts.
Later in the evening, President Dr Sangay gave an interview to Denik, the leading independent newspaper in Slovakia. CTA president’s visit was also featured in Jeden Den Plus.
-Filed by Tenzin Dechen, Communication Officer, Sikyong’s Office