President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay has thanked the All-Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet for its continuous support for the Tibetan struggle against Chinese annexation.
During a virtual meeting, Sangay, who completed his two-term tenure as Sikyong, thanked the lawmakers for support and applauded them for "sending a strong message to the world that Japan stands for human rights and democracy," reported Phayul.
The outgoing President of the Tibetan government in exile, Sangay praised Japan for playing a major role in supporting Tibet, Uyghur, Mongolia, Hong Kong and Taiwan and said, "[It is] a message that human rights are fundamental and democracy is universal. These values are in contrast with what China says is socialism with Chinese characteristics".
"Monasteries are being demolished, the Tibetan language is discouraged and more than half a million Tibetans are uprooted from the nomadic areas and put them in labour camp-like situations to assimilate Tibet into China. This assimilation drive is threatening the very identity and civilization of Tibetan," Sangay told the 98-member group.
The parliamentary support group composed of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vice Defense Minister Yasuhide Nakayama, and many others joined the felicitation event with the CTA President, reported Phayul.
Former education minister and chairman of the group Shimomura Hakuban expressed his happiness for the opportunity to hold the event with Sikyong and also thanked him for his leadership of the Dharamshala-based Tibetan government-in-exile.
The Chairman of the parliamentary support group for Tibet said that the idea for the organization started ten years ago when he met the exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Dharamshala along with Shinzo Abe and Sakurai Yoshiko. It has since grown into the world's largest parliamentary support group.
"We have been making efforts to the Tibetan community through Japan's ODA (Official Development Assistance) fund," he said in his address on Tuesday.
The All-Party Japanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet was formed on December 14, 2016, with the membership of parliamentarians across party lines. The initial membership included 58 MPs from the House of Representatives and 24 MPs from the House of Councillors of the Japanese parliament.
Tibet was an independent state in the Himalayas until Chinese troops annexed the region in 1950. The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India, where the exile government is based to this day.
( With inputs from ANI )
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