DHARAMSALA, 8 May: Support Tibet if you support freedom, human rights and democracy, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration(CTA) Dr Lobsang Sangay has said in Lithuania.
“If you are for freedom, for human rights, for democracy, then you must support Tibet,” President Sangay said at a press conference organised by the Hon Andrius Navickas MP, chair of the Provisional Group for Solidarity with Tibetans in the Seimas(the unicameral parliament of Lithuania), the parliament of Lithuania on 6 May according to a report on CTA’s official webpage Tibet.net.
The political head of the Tibetan people who is on a week-long visit to the Baltic region, including Latvia was joined by Prof Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania’s first head of state after its independence declaration from the Soviet Union, and other MPs at the conference.
President Sangay has reportedly talked about similarities between the Baltic states’ experiences under the then Soviet Union’s communist regime and that of Tibet under the occupation of the Chinese communist regime and urged for greater international support for Tibet in general and that of Lithuania in particular.
A luncheon was hosted to the exiled Tibetan leader who is accompanied by the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, Poland & the Baltic States, Mr Sonam Tsering Frasi on his visit later by the Hon Laima Andrikiene Member of the European Parliament and President Sangay has delivered a talk on Geopolitics of China in Europe: Tibet a case study in the evening at the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis.
CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay’s visit to Lithuania was widely covered by the media, it has irked China who has called it a serious political incident in a press release it issued.
“The Chinese Embassy strongly condemns the press conference organized by Andrius Navickas in the Seimas this morning and expresses firm opposition to having Lobsang Sangay, the head of Dalai separatist bloc, in the Seimas as well as visiting Lithuania. We regard it as a serious political incident,” read the press release issued yesterday afternoon.
It vilified the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people by claiming that he has no right to comment randomly on China’s policy on Tibet and that his speech is full of lies.
“Any support to pro-independence separatist of Tibet will undermine the bilateral relations between the two countries. We also hope that the Lithuanian people could correctly view the issue of Tibet and will not be misled by the wrong information,” it concluded.
CTA spokesperson Sonam N Dagpo in his response to the Chinese statement has described President Sangay as the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people who represents the voice of the six million Tibetans.
“Central Tibetan Administration is appalled by the protest of Chinese Embassy in Lithuania against President Lobsang Sangay’s visit to Lithuania,” Tibet.net quoted him as saying in its report.
“The world knows that China occupied and invaded Tibet and Tibetans do not enjoy religious freedom, human right, right to one’s own language, etc. in Tibet,” the Spokesperson concluded.
CTA President’s other itinerary includes a visit to Tibet Square, which was established by friends of Tibet in the popular district of artists and art called Uzupis in 2010, and two interviews, one each for a popular internet and cultural media, before flying to Riga, Latvia to attend the 7th World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet.
The World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet is held after indeterminate gaps of several years, while the first was held in New Delhi in 1994, and the last was held in Ottawa, Canada in 2012. The 7th World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet was originally scheduled to be held in New Delhi from 26-28, Apr but had to be cancelled.
Thehindu.com reported on 22 Mar earlier this year that the meet now being held in Riga, Latvia had been postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances” citing India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).