Sincerity of the Honorary Citizenships

As I mentioned in my last post, last Monday I attended a public talk by Tashi Wangdi. At the end of the talk there was a question period where I asked how sincere he felt the awarding of the honorary citizenship to the Dalai Lama was, by both Canada and the United States or could there perhaps be political motives behind the awarding?

He replied that he believed that the awarding by both Canada and the US was sincere because both awards were voted in by the members of each respective house of representatives and not by the government itself.

However I don’t think one can determine for sure that the honorary citizenship is truly sincere by reason that it was a collective decision by a countries’ parliament or congress. For example during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, members of the US congress voted for the funding of Afghan forces in order to help Afghanistan fight the Soviet invasion. When the Afghans had finally defeated the Soviets, these same members who voted for the funding of Afghanistan were then nowhere to be seen in the funding to help rebuild Afghanistan after years of war had completely destroyed the country. Therefore would you deem the US congress’s funding of the Afghan forces as a sincere gesture to help Afghanistan, or was it a politically motivated maneuver in order to confront the Soviets? It would seem like the latter since we see afterwards that the funding for the rebuilding of Afghanistan was deemed nowhere near as important as the funding to fight the Soviets.

In this same way is the awarding of the honorary citizenship by both Canada and the US completely sincere or is it a method in which some of these representatives can: confront China, or give the impression that they are helping the Tibetan cause, or maybe even a photo opportunity with the Dalai Lama? Have these representatives of both respective governments collectively done enough  (in the same manner the award was collectively voted for) in order for us to truly and surely believe that their actions are collectively sincere towards the Tibetan cause?


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