Canada passes motion supporting Tibetan self-determination

Toronto: Canada’s House of Commons has unanimously passed a motion recognising the Tibetan claim to “self-determination.”

Tibetan activists in Ottawa on Monday (Credit: Canada Tibet Committee)

The motion, which had been moved by Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, an MP from the Bloc Québécois, was passed on Monday. While all MPs present in the House voted in favour of the motion, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not in the chamber when it was passed.

Another Bloc MP Julie Vignola posted on X after the vote, “The motion adopted today represents more than a year of discussions and negotiations.”

Reacting to the development, Canada Tibet Committee or CTC posted on X, “Thrilled to announce that the Parliament of Canada has passed a unanimous motion declaring Tibet’s right to self-determination.”

The text of the motion stated that the House by “unanimous consent”, resolved that China is carrying out a policy of systemic cultural assimilation against Tibetans.

Importantly, it recognised “Tibetans, as a people and a nation, can claim the right to self-determination.”

It added, “Tibetans are empowered to freely choose their economic, social, cultural and religious policies without interference from any external power. This empowerment prohibits China from interfering in the choice of the next Tibetan spiritual leader, the eventual successor to His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama.”

Among those who welcomed the motion’s passage was Sherap Therchin, executive director of the CTC. He described it as a “historic milestone.”

He said it will help Tibetans further their cause by fighting against Beijing’s “disinformation” that Tibet had historically been part of China since it was annexed in 1950.

“This is not a legally binding motion, but it stays in the government record. It is a huge step, going beyond usual human rights angle. Hopefully, this will encourage the government to take further steps,” Therchin said.

Therchin, who was in Ottawa, said his group also met Canadian MPs cutting across party lines, while the annual Parliamentary Friends of Tibet reception was also held on Monday.

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