Legislator Kolas Yotaka was invited by Prime Minister in Exile, Lobsang Sangay, of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to attend the Five-Fifty Forum: Shaping Tibet’s Political Future in Dharamsala, India from October 6th to 8th. Kolas will be a speaker during the closing ceremony. “It is a great honor to be invited and to share with forum participants the concrete ways in which Taiwan supports Tibet, and to once again meet the Dalai Lama.”
Just before the opening of China’s nineteenth congress, China had issued a travel ban of foreign tourists in Tibet. Kolas expressed that this is an overt irrational expression of mind and body control, yet again illustrating the ridiculousness and absurdity of the Chinese Communist Party regime. Despite the sensitive timing, Kolas expressed that she will not kowtow to fearmongering and is delighted to head to India and work alongside human rights workers from around the world to discuss Tibet and Taiwan’s future. Kolas has repeatedly stated that Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples and Tibetans are not Han Chinese regardless of blood, religion, beliefs, culture, and language, they are not the same. However, the Chinese regime insists that Taiwan and Tibet are a part of China. This is not the case and Kolas will never refer herself as being Chinese, as China is an entirely different country.
Kolas Yotaka thinks that the Dalai Lama’s initiative, Middle Way Approach (MWA), emphasizes Tibetan’s willingness to have autonomy under the framework of the Chinese Constitution. The Tibetans are seeking for their dignity and for their way back to Tibet. However, the hegemony of China ignores the peace-loving Tibetans’ concessions and compromises and, instead, tortures the people. Therefore, in order to continue to strive for Tibet’s freedom, CTA hopes that Tibetans can continue to overcome their struggles around the world and to consolidate and maintain the operations of CTA over the next fifty years. The Tibetans’ Five-Fifty strategic plan is to achieve autonomy through the mutually beneficial MWA and to formulate long-term plans for sustainable development of Tibet over the next fifty years.
Kolas expressed that she deeply sympathizes with Tibetan’s struggle for autonomy because autonomy is also the ideal which Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples are striving toward. Other than participating in the forum, Kolas is also happy to share her efforts of helping Tibetans in Taiwan. Her proposal of abolishing the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) in Taiwan has become a reality. The Taiwanese government has officially terminated the MTAC and Kolas’ amendments to the Immigration Act have passed third reading and have already helped a number of exiled Tibetans to legally live in Taiwan. Kolas stated, “Taiwan and Tibet are allies. We will always be by each other’s sides.”