Endorsements of the Tibetan Policy Act

“As Americans, we are compelled to support the Tibetan Policy Act of 2001. Religious freedom is at the core of our national identity. To overlook the Chinese government’s relentless persecution of the Tibetan Buddhists, their religion, their culture and their way of life would be to betray our own deepest values. Lip service to abstract ideals of religious freedom is not enough. We must forge a clear and specific policy of standing with the Tibetan people. We must pass the Tibetan Policy Act without delay.”
Nina Shea, Director, Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom

“I hope this legislation will help send a message to a new generation of Chinese leaders that the tired anti-Tibet rhetoric of China’s founders is woefully outdated, and the Tibet people must be granted their freedom.”
Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA)

“I believe that the time has come for the United States government to increase our attention to enhanced Tibetan cultural and religious autonomy. My intent in introducing the Tibetan Policy Act is to place the full faith of the United States government behind efforts to preserve the distinct identity and the cultural, religious and ethnic autonomy of the Tibetan People.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

“It’s critical to our nation’s response to China’s continued illegal occupation [of Tibet].”
Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY)

“It is my hope that the US Government will support the ‘Tibet Policy Act of 2001’ and in so doing take a courageous step towards the fulfilment of human rights for Tibetan people. His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues to inspire us with his wisdom and compassion in all human affairs, and his efforts to maintain peace within the world. It is right and appropriate that where possible, we support his determination to achieve a negotiated political solution for Tibet and safeguard the Tibetan people’s national identity. The ‘Tibet Policy Act of 2001’ is an important step in that direction, and deserves the active support of everyone.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Laureate

“This is an important initiative and should be supported widely.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate

“Over the years the Tibetan issue has received tremendous support from the American public and we believe that this proposed legislation aptly symbolizes that support. This legislation will enable the Tibetan people to undertake steps for the continued preservation and promotion of our distinct identity, culture and way of life as we attempt to find a negotiated solution to our issue. We hope the legislation will make the Chinese government realize that the only viable and stable solution to the Tibetan problem is through negotiations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan leadership in exile.”
Kalon T.C. Tethong, Minister of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, India

“This legislation transforms America’s belief in religious and cultural freedom in Tibet into a solid, comprehensive program. Its passage would help guarantee a reliable and permanent American commitment to the human rights of the Tibetan people. Just as we never abandoned the right of the ‘captive nations’ of Eastern Europe to determine their own fate, even under 75 years of seemingly invincible Soviet power, so we must now be faithful to the commitment to Tibet and its people – and that is the admirable purpose of the Tibetan Policy Act.”
Elliot Abrams, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

“I desire to express my strong and sincere support for the Tibetan Policy Act of 2001…The Tibetan people have suffered deeply and long. Their country and their religion have been devastated by the policies of the government of China…I hope and pray the Congress will affirm its commitment and that of the U.S. government to ameliorating the misery under which Tibet and the Tibetan people live and suffer. Implementation of the recommendations in this bill will make a significant contribution to this end.”
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

On Tibet

“I have always maintained that ultimately the Tibetan people must be able to decide about the future of Tibet.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“It’s a very difficult situation right now with the Chinese sending more and more Han Chinese in to settle Tibet; what seems to be a policy that might well destroy that society. I think we have to reenergize our discussions with the Chinese to let them know that this is another example of the kind of behavior that will affect our entire relationship. And [we will] show our interest in solidarity with the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell at his confirmation hearing, January 17, 2001

“I agree that Tibet is an autonomous region of China. And I can understand why the acknowledgement of that would be a precondition of dialogue with the Dalai Lama. But I also believe that many, many Tibetans still revere the Dalai Lama and view him as their spiritual leader…but for us, the question in not fundamentally religious. It is political. That is, we believe that other people should have the right to fully practice their religious beliefs and that if he [the Dalai Lama], in good faith, presents himself on those terms, it is a legitimate thing for China to engage him in dialogue.”
President Bill Clinton, June 17, 1998, Beijing

“The Tibetan people are powerless to prevent Chinese officials from destroying the ecology of their homeland because of China’s armed subjugation of Tibet for the last forty years.”
Al Gore, Earth in the Balance, 1992

“The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949 was a conquest every bit as clear as the conquest of the Baltic States during World War II or Iraq’s invasion and temporary conquest of Kuwait. It does not become less criminal because it has remained in place over a long period of time…The Chinese have been brutal and have made no bones about it and have made no apologies for it.”
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, April 1991

“Few people have endured as prolonged a persecution as the people of Tibet. For more than four decades they have seen their monasteries destroyed; their beliefs banned, their way of life threatened with extinction. The high mountain vastness of the Himalayas is no longer a refuge from the people of Tibet. Instead it has become in a truly way their prison.”
Senator George Mitchell, April 18, 1991

“As His Holiness and the people of Tibet go forward on their own great journey, we are with them. We, the people of the United States, the Congress of the United States – we stand with them, and we want the People’s Republic of China to hear this message. We stand with them!”
Senator Robert Dole, April 18, 1991

“Why are we silent when Tibet needs our voices? This is especially poignant to some of us who believe in non-violence, of which Tibet is an inspiring symbol…If to be free is the most important goal of all, then to help someone else to become free must be the most sublime and rewarding of human endeavors.”
Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate

“I certainly would want…to say with all the vehemence that I can command that what has happened is unacceptable, totally unacceptable. We want to do all we can to support initiatives for bringing about the liberation of Tibet…You long for someone to arise in China and say, you know freedom is cheaper than oppression. It seems so obvious.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1997