Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay will be visiting New Zealand for the first time. The visit is scheduled to start from 30th April. His visit will begin from Brisbane, Australia. It will have a very significant political dimension to it as well as the PM will be meeting several dignitaries and members of political leadership as well. This lends more weight to this particular visit.
The itinerary includes Auckland and Wellington where he will be taking part in many public events and will be delivering public speeches on Tibet-China Relations and the future course of Tibetan politics, culture and environment.
Recent studies on environmental challenges have revealed that Tibet plateau is more vulnerable to climate change and thereby it is a big challenge before whole South and South East Asia.
It is pertinent to mention here that China has started many new projects in the fragile region that plays a key role in water security of the region. Tibet is origin place of many big rivers of Asia.
The Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay, A Fulbright scholar and a Doctorate from prestigious Harvard University has been a staunch activist and was a member of a very vocal group called ‘Tibetan Youth Congress’ at Delhi University. This is his second term as the Prime Minister of Tibetan Government-in-Exile. He has taken the baton of administrative leadership from his holiness himself and is certainly very qualified for the job which bestows on him responsibility to give a new direction to his people in the world which is changing every day.
Tibet has assumed greater importance from another angle. The recent surge in the engagement of Tibetan leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Prime Minister have brought Tibet in international focus again.
Just last week a new ‘Tibet Bill’ was introduced in the American Congress and that did not go down well with the Chinese. Putting these pieces together it is beginning to allude that Tibet may gain more prominence in the years to come.
A representative of ‘Friends of Tibet’ group in New Zealand said, “This is an important opportunity to hear first-hand what is happening in Tibet, including the sad news of self-immolations of two Tibetans in last two weeks in Tibet. A total of 147 Tibetans have self- immolated in Tibet since 2009. The world is not hearing the pleas from those Tibetans who have self- immolated for the cause of freedom.”
Western Countries had kind of abandoned the cause under the Chinese pressure but the increase in human rights violations and self immolations in Tibet have made the world realize that ‘Tibet’ is still a burning fire and Tibetan voices mostly in Tibet itself need greater attention. China can not be allowed to get away with every aggression be it in South China Sea or Tibet.