Tibet Weekly Update – June 12, 2015

A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.

 

Bill in the US House of Representatives could provide 3000 visas for Tibetans from India and Nepal

HR 2679

The first page of the bill.

US Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) reintroduced the Tibetan Refugee Assistance Act (H.R.2679), on June 4, 2015 to provide 3,000 immigrant visas to qualified displaced Tibetans over a three-year period.

In a statement, they said, “The bill supports the well-being of the Tibetan exile community as they strive to find a peaceful solution for Tibet; helps the overburdened settlements in India and Nepal; and gives displaced Tibetans the opportunity to flourish as Tibetan-Americans.” For more, please see our report.


 

Resolution Honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 80th Birthday introduced in US Senate

We are thrilled to announce that Senator Feinstein has introduced a resolution honoring His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday. She was joined by longtime supporters of His Holiness and Tibet Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), as original cosponsors. We wish to thank them all for standing with the Tibetan people on this auspicious occasion. See the full text of the resolution here.


 

Tibetan Americans ‘energized’ by ICT’s Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

Tibetan Youth Leadership

Participants of the Tibetan Youth Leadership with Representative Jim McGovern at his office on Capitol Hill on June 4, 2015. (Photo: ICT)


Thirteen Tibetan Americans completed a week-long Tibetan Youth Leadership Program in Washington, D.C. , on June 7, 2015, organized by the International Campaign for Tibet. Participants heard from several NGO leaders including Mr. Carl Gershman, President of National Endowment for Democracy and several other distinguished guest speakers, including the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Sarah Sewall, Representative Jim McGovern, and Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama for the Americas, Kaydor Aukatsang. They attended workshops on media and communication as well as advocacy skills, visited their Congressional offices on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff. They also visited and gave media interviews to Tibetan services at Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.


 

Public gatherings restricted in Tibet ahead of Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

According to a Radio Free Asia report, a number of public celebrations in Tibet planned around the Dalai Lama’s birthday have already been blocked by Chinese authorities:

Police in Gansu province’s Machu county on June 5 detained two Tibetans identified as the organizers of a horse race planned for June 10 to 13 and open to contestants from Tibet’s traditional Kham and Amdo regions, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service this week.

“Participants could enter only on the condition that they save the life of at least one animal and dedicate the merit of the act to the Dalai Lama’s long life,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.



 

Dalai Lama speaks on the situation in Tibet

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama gives a teaching in Australia (Photo: Rusty Stewart)


The Dalai Lama, currently in Australia to give teachings, spoke about the current state of Tibet from the town of Katoomba:

People in Tibet remain strong and the Chinese authorities cannot pretend there is no problem. The people in Tibet are not happy. We have to discuss how to take the Tibetan cause forward.

He later participated in a question and answer session, and elaborated:

As to when things will change, His Holiness said the future is unclear. Signals are mixed. In recent times one official spoke as if a pilgrimage to Wutaishan was on the cards, only for hopes to be dashed shortly afterwards. He said the language of the recent White Paper on Tibet was tough.



 

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