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Members of Congress urge Trump Administration to implement key Tibet legislation

May 13, 2019

A bipartisan letter signed by 32 members of Congress addressed to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo was released today by Reps. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), co-chairs of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The letter urges the Trump Administration to promptly implement key legislation passed by Congress to guide US policy on Tibet.

The letter expresses the Congress members’ “deep concern about the well-being of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule,” adding that “the repression in Tibet continues unabated.” The members of Congress say “It is therefore now more urgent than ever that the State Department fully implement current law on Tibet.”

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Senate letter to Brownback

Bipartisan group of senators ask State Dept. how US can prevent Chinese interference in religious freedom in Tibet

May 10, 2019

A bipartisan group of US senators sent a letter to US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback this week asking “how the US can best support Tibetan Buddhists, to include collaboration with the international community to uphold religious freedom, and to convey that religious traditions should not be subject to government encroachment.”

Led by Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the letter was signed by committee members Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Tom Udall (D-NM), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

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New State Dept. report shows US is serious about ending isolation of Tibet for Americans

March 25, 2019

A new State Department report denouncing China for “systematically” impeding Americans’ travel to Tibet shows the US government is serious about implementing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. The report also clearly shows that the widespread discrimination, and in some cases amounting almost to harassment, perpetrated by Beijing against Americans to enforce the complete isolation of Tibet from the outside world, won’t be accepted any longer in Washington.

The report, released March 25, 2019, documents outrageous attempts by Chinese authorities to keep Americans out of Tibet in 2018, including repeatedly denying requests to visit from the US ambassador and other US officials, directly threatening to expel journalists and cruelly preventing Tibetan-Americans from seeing their homeland, which has been in the grips of a brutal Chinese occupation for the past 60 years.

The report is the first significant outcome of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 19, 2018 and takes aim at China’s double standard of denying US diplomats, reporters and tourists entry to the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas under Chinese control even though Chinese bureaucrats, state media and ordinary citizens are free to travel throughout the US.

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Dalai Lama commends Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for shining a light on human rights violations

December 12, 2018

The Dalai Lama has commended the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) on its 10th anniversary, praising its “positive contribution in shining a light on individuals throughout the world whose fundamental human rights are being violated by those in power.”

The message was posted on the TLHRC website after a December 11, 2018, anniversary reception.

“I have always looked to the United States as a champion of democracy, freedom, human values and creativity,” the Dalai Lama writes. “The U.S. is a leader among free nations, playing a pivotal role in the promotion of peace around the world. I commend the Tom Lantos Commission for its positive contribution in shining a light on individuals throughout the world whose fundamental human rights are being violated by those in power.”

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Dalai Lama letter

Dalai Lama’s message to global climate summit shows need for urgent action in Tibet

December 6, 2018

As a native of one of the world’s most beautiful and endangered landscapes, the Dalai Lama has sent his prayers and advice to the largest annual global climate change summit.

“We have to take serious action now to protect our environment and find constructive solutions to global warming,” the Tibetan spiritual leader wrote in a message to the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as the COP24 Climate Conference.

The event, taking place now in the Polish city of Katowice, has brought together delegates from nearly 200 countries to create a roadmap for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

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Senior American officials call for international coalition to press China on religious freedom in Tibet

July 27, 2018
Describing the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom as “just the beginning,” Vice President Pence and other U.S. government officials repeatedly raised China’s human rights violations in Tibet as they promised ongoing new efforts to combat religious freedom violations around the world. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who recently re-affirmed America’s commitment to seeing the release of the Panchen Lama, answered a question about religious freedom in Tibet by describing a new multi-lateral effort to end China’s assault on Tibetan Buddhism:

We had a number of Tibetan Buddhists testify and speak here, and people that have experienced the persecution that’s taken place for years in Tibet… What we are working on doing and pulling together is an international consortium to press China about religious freedom… It’s Tibetan Buddhists, it’s Uighur Muslims, Christian house church leaders, Falun Gong – there’s a whole series, and this has been going on for some period of time. We’re trying to do is get that international coalition pulling together to push on the Chinese Government to let people practice their faith freely as they see fit.

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VP Pence and Golok Jigme

Vice President and Secretary of State meet Tibetan activist, discuss China’s human rights violations

July 26, 2018

The aspirations of the Tibetan people were heard at the highest levels of the United States government this week when a well-known Tibetan activist was among a select group of survivors of religious persecution who met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Golok Jigme, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was jailed and tortured by Chinese authorities for speaking out against their oppressive rule in Tibet, talked with the two American leaders in the sidelines of the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The three-day event in Washington D.C. was a first-of-its-kind gathering of elected officials, international organizations, religious leaders and civil society members to advocate for greater religious freedom around the globe.

Jigme told Pence and Pompeo that the people of Tibet—a historically independent nation that China has occupied for nearly 70 years—are prevented from receiving teachings from the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, Tibetans can be punished simply for having portraits of the Dalai Lama.

Jigme urged Pence to encourage China’s leadership to work with the Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibetan issue and allow the Tibetan people to have true religious freedom.

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State Department notes ‘severe’ repression in Tibet in 2017 Human Rights Report

April 20, 2018

The State Department’s latest Human Rights Report, released on April 20, 2018, documents pervasive repression and high levels of deployments by the paramilitary People’s Armed Police in Tibet. Among other issues, the report tracks the many fronts Chinese authorities have opened in their attacks on the Dalai Lama, including strengthened punishments for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members who secretly harbor religious beliefs, and the detention of Tibetans who express support for him.

“The U.S. report on the situation of human rights in Tibet confirms the information that the International Campaign for Tibet has been gathering about the deteriorating situation in Tibet,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “This message from the Administration complements a series of legislations before the United States Congress, including the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, and their approval would strengthen the call for human rights in Tibet,” Mecacci added.

Examining the ethnic dynamics of Chinese rule in Tibet, the report notes that ethnic Chinese CCP members hold “the overwhelming majority of top party, government, police, and military positions” in Tibet, and that on the national level, none of the members of the CCP Politburo or the Standing Committee of the Communist Party are Tibetan.

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Testimony of Dhondup Wangchen at the Hearing by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on “Tibet From All Angles: Protecting Human Rights, Defending Strategic Access, and Challenging China’s Export of Censorship Globally”

February 14, 2018

Honorable Senator Rubio and Representative Smith,

I am very grateful for this opportunity to testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China on my experiences in Tibet under the Chinese authorities.

My name is Dhondup Wangchen. I was born on October 17, 1974 to a family of Tibetan farmers in Bayen which is in the province we call Amdo. In today’s administrative divisions, Bayen is in Tsoshar prefecture, Qinghai province, People’s Republic of China.

I arrived in USA on December 25, 2017 and it was the first time in many years that I felt safety and freedom. The reunion with my family in San Francisco was a wonderful moment that I had looked forward to in the past years, with a mixture of anxious joy and the hesitation a man feels who was hindered to be the husband he ought to be for his loving wife; a man who was not given the chance to stand by with fatherly advice to his children in a world full of challenges, and a man denied being the son needed for his aging parents, tormented by the thought that they wouldn’t see each other again in their lifetime.

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Congressman Jim McGovern speaks in House about China’s new controls on Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy

January 31, 2018

Congressman Jim McGovern took to the floor of the House of Representatives on January 30, 2018 and raised the issue of China’s new administrative controls on the Tibetan Buddhist monastic center of Larung Gar, as outlined in a Human Rights Watch report. Congressman McGovern said, “It is a significant blow to freedom of religion in Tibet and China, and a matter of great concern to all members of Congress.” His remarks are given below along with the Human Rights Watch report.

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Message from Richard Gere, Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, to the Tibet Solidarity Rally in New York on December 10, 2017

December 2017

Tashi delek dear Tibetan brothers and sisters. As I write to you today, we have just concluded a successful visit to Capitol Hill and our year-end meetings of the Boards of Directors from the United States and Europe. I am sorry I cannot join your gathering in New York today but would like to express my solidarity at this critical time in Tibetan history.

Your rally is timely as the situation in Tibet is both dire and rapidly evolving. Following this recent visit to Washington, I can assure you there are many different people, from many communities throughout the world who care deeply about Tibet and have come together in their work to do whatever they can to help address the situation.

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ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering’s statement at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today”

September 15, 2017

Following is the prepared statement by ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today” held by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable at the United States Congress on September 15, 2017. Other participants of the Roundtable were Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, USCIRF Commissioner; Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia, Freedom House; and Tina Mufford, Senior Policy Analyst, USCIRF. Judith Golub, Director of Congressional Affairs & Policy and Planning, USCIRF, moderated it.

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Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

September 15, 2017

Following is the English version of an article by ICT President Matteo Mecacci in Spanish that appeared in Newsweek En Español (September 11, 2017 issue). The issue’s cover story was on Tibet and included an interview with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

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Testimonies at Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing on Tibet

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearin on “Tibet:Freedom of Religion” on July 12,2017 in the US Congress. Following are the prepared testimonies of Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, Arjia Rinpoche, Nyima Lhamo and Todd Stein. Dr. Tenzin Dorjee » Arjia Rinpoche » Nyima Lhamo » Todd Stein » Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing […]

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Written submission by the International Campaign for Tibet to the hearing “Tibet: Freedom of Religion” by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress

July 12, 2017

We thank the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress for providing us the opportunity to submit this statement for the record on the state of freedom of religion in Tibet.

The International Campaign for Tibet would like to draw attention to the impact of a new set of laws promulgated by the People’s Republic of China on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Pelosi Recalls Dalai Lama’s contribution to Global Peace in a Birthday Message

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on the 82nd birthday of the Dalai Lama (which falls on July 6, 2017) calling him “one of the greatest voices for human rights and peace across the globe.” Drawing attention to Tibetans in Tibet who “remain deprived of their fundamental freedoms and are struggling to preserve their […]

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Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

ICT’s 2017 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

June 13, 2017

Twelve Tibetan students from colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania participated in the International Campaign for Tibet’s 2017 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) held in Washington, D.C. from June 3 to 9, 2017.

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ICT Reception for Sikyong Lobsang Sangay

ICT hosted a reception to welcome Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, to Washington, D.C. on May 23, 2017. Those attending included Member of Congress, Congressional staffers, serving and former Administration officials, representatives of NGOs, staff of Office of Tibet, the Tibetan community and ICT Board members and staff. ICT President Matteo […]

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