Sydney, Australia, June 21 (EFE).- Tibet’s exiled political leader Wednesday said China was perpetrating a “cultural genocide” and turning Tibet into a “huge prison.”
“That is what China tries to do – lock away Tibet. Make it like a huge prison where nobody can go in, nobody can go out and then tell the international community that Tibet is a socialist paradise,” Tibet’s exiled president Penpa Tsering told reporters in Canberra,
The government-in-exile, based in Dharamsala, India, advocates for greater autonomy for Tibet, a region that its original inhabitants claim was independent for centuries until China’s occupation and annexation in 1951. China, however, asserts that Tibet has been a part of its territory for centuries.
Tsering accused China of carrying out a “cultural genocide” by forcibly separating children from their families, sending them to boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them into Chinese culture, and imposing Mandarin as the dominant language. He also claimed that Buddhist monks were disappearing and that residents were denied freedom of expression, subjected to electronic surveillance, and imprisoned for criticizing Beijing.
Tsering emphasized that his government, without resorting to violence, seeks China’s acknowledgment of fundamental rights such as environmental protection and the preservation of Tibetan culture, religion, and language. He reiterated that Tibetans are not pursuing independence but rather autonomy, echoing the call made by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Tsering’s visit to Australia marks his first trip to the country since his election in 2021. During his tour, he urged the implementation of targeted sanctions against China for its human rights violations, similar to those imposed on Russia, Iran, and Myanmar.
“If it’s a foreign policy, it should be equal for everybody whether it’s a big country or a small country,” Tsering emphasized during his address at the National Press Club. EFE