By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 2 September 2019
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Pema Jungney expressed support for the people of Hong Kong who are staging protests seeking the full withdrawal of an extradition bill, and implementation of universal suffrage in this special administrative region of China.
“Millions of Hong Kongers have been peacefully protesting for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong for the last few months. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile stands in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong,” Jungney said.
He spoke on the occasion of 59th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day in McLeod Ganj, the seat of the Tibetan Diaspora. Attending were a crowd of a few hundred Tibetans and a handful of tourists, and the ministers and the staff members of the Central Tibetan Administration, with Ms Sarveen Chaudhary, Urban Development Minister of Himachal Pradesh state, as the chief guest.
Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since early June, which have seen millions taking to streets in various parts of the city. As the movement persisted, many of the protests have ended in violent clashes between police and demonstrators.
The extradition bill would have allowed the region’s government to extradite people from Hong Kong to China for trial, where the Communist party controls the courts.
Opponents feared that the law would be used by Chinese authorities to target political dissenters in Hong Kong, ending the “one country, two systems” policy, the status the residents of Hong Kong has enjoyed since the handover of the region’s sovereignty from the British to China in 1997.
The extradition bill was suspended by the region’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, in mid June, but protesters want it completely withdrawn. The protesters have also demanded Lam’s resignation, and the unconditional release of arrested protesters with charges against them dropped.
Last week, exile Tibetan non-governmental organisations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Women’s Association have organised marches to show their support for the Hong Kong protesters. Youth Congress members marched in Delhi, and Women’s Association members marched in McLeod Ganj.