Dharamshala (HP), November 17, 2012: Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala considered Suu Kyi's struggle and experience as many way parallel with the Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
“The Burma stop in U.S. President Barack Obama's his first foreign trip to Asia after re-election, is meaningful to Tibetans because that country's struggle for freedom so closely tracks Tibet's efforts to secure greater autonomy from Beijing,” said Tibetan PM in Exile Dr. Lobsang Sangay in Dharamsala on Saturday.
He said that Obama's presence will offer a firm gesture of support to the forces of democracy and freedom as symbolised by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader. Suu Kyi remained under house arrest for 15 years despite winning the 1990 general elections overwhelmingly. Her father, Aung San, the father of modern-day Burma, was assassinated in 1947.
Dr. Sangay said, “Inspite of being forcibly separated from his people in Tibet, the Dalai Lama established a democratic system within the Tibetan refugee community, separating church and state, and transferring his political power to a democratically elected leader, Prime Minister (the Sikyong).” This model of a functioning democracy is unique among refugee communities.
Tibetan political leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay said that the Obama administration also could take up the issue of Tibet more seriously with the new Chinese leadership appointed at the 18th Party Congress. Tibetans in Tibet are crying out for justice, including the autonomy and freedom to worship they have been promised by Beijing over the years. Some 72 Tibetans have set themselves on fire, 70 of them since March 2011, and five in one day this month alone. The common cry of all self-immolators is the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
Tibetans have invested in democracy and non-violence for the last five decades. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made reassuring statements on U.S. commitment to human rights and democracy, and Ambassador Gary Locke recently visited Tibetan areas.
Dr. Sangay said,” Solving the Tibet problem will help improve relations between China and India. It will allow Tibetans to resume their traditional role of being responsible stewards of Tibet's immense natural resources, including the management of Asia's great rivers that originate in Tibet and on which hundred of millions of Asians depend for their livelihood and their very survival.”
A successful American engagement with China on Tibet will also be welcomed by millions of Indians, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Mongolians who at one time looked upon Tibet as the source of their culture and home of their faith. Today there are reportedly more than 300 million Chinese Buddhists and millions of other Asians.
Dr. Sangay is the sikyong, the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people and the political successor of the Dalai Lama.