President Xi's proclamation in the last 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to usher ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era’ will strengthen one-party rule, Tibetan President Dr Lobsang Sangay said, adding: It "poses grave threat to democracy and freedom."

On the concluding day of his week-long successful visit to Japan, President Dr Lobsang Sangay spoke to a gathering of 250 people in a packed auditorium in Japan’s Osaka city, lauding Japan’s support of the Tibetan people’s non-violent struggle for freedom, human rights and democracy. The event was organised by Fire Under the Snow organisation.

The President delivered his speech in Tibetan and it was translated by Ven. Hiraoka Koichi. Mr. Nagao Takashi, Member of Parliament from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and secretary of the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, attended the talk.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proclamation in the last 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party to usher ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era’ will strengthen one-party rule and poses grave threat to democracy and freedom.

He said the world’s indifference to Tibet when it was invaded by China has emboldened it to trample on the sovereign rights of the countries around the world. “It started with Tibet and ends with you. So the world has no choice. Either you have to transform China into a liberal democracy or you get transformed and controlled by China.”

“The Chinese government put enormous pressure on countries including South Africa where I was invited to speak at a Law University, preventing us from telling the story of Tibet. Likewise, the Chinese government’s intervention in the academic freedom of the countries like Australia that Chinese students can fire teachers when they touched upon issue of Tibet, Taiwan and Tiananmen massacre. Realising the threat posed by the Chinese government, the Australian Parliament felt compelled to pass a resolution to protest against the Chinese intervention in their sovereign affairs,” Sikyong said.

He further said: “The reason behind Chinese government attempts to prevent us from speaking about Tibet is that there is severe repression and grave situation in Tibet under its rule. Freedom House Index lists Tibet as one the three least free regions in the whole world after Syria. Similarly Reporters Without Borders said in its report that for journalists to access to Tibet is more difficult than North Korea. 151 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against the Chinese government’s repressive policies. The threat to Tibet’s natural environment such as damming of Tibetan rivers put the lives of 1.4 billion people in Asia who depend on them as the source of freshwater.”

Sikyong said Japan’s firm support for justice, freedom, human rights and democracy enables us to visit and speak freely with the people of Japan, which has the biggest All Party Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet.

“Like the Japanese, the Tibetan people are determined and resilient as they revived the Buddhist monasteries which were annihilated by the Chinese government after it invaded Tibet. Today, China has the largest number of Buddhist followers in the world,” Sikyong said.

Sikyong said “support for Tibet means support for non-violence, dialogue, freedom, human rights and democracy. The world, which is beset by violent conflicts, is looking for models to follow: the Tibet’s non-violent, peaceful and dialogue model or violent, beheading, militancy and terrorist model. If you don’t support the Tibet model, it means you support the violent model of conflict resolution.”

Sikyong thanked those who came to listen to his talk, saying that your coming here will send a message of hope and encouragement to Tibetans suffering repression under the Chinese rule.

In his address, Mr. Nagao Takashi, Member of Parliament from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and secretary of the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, underlined the Japan which stands for peace, freedom and democracy as the cornerstone of its national policy, must support the Tibetan people’s non-violent struggle for freedom and justice.

He shares deep concerns raised by Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay that China is becoming increasingly making intrusion into South China Sea, East China Sea, Senkaku Islands and Scarborough island.

He said Japan has the largest number of Parliamentarians supporting the issue of Tibet and called for the need to give concrete support for Tibetans to achieve genuine autonomy through the Middle Way Approach.

He urged the Japanese people to reinvigorate their courage and resolve to stand firm with the Tibetan people in their non-violent struggle against the Chinese government’s repression.

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