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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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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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Dalai Lama and Congressional Delegation

Leader Nancy Pelosi Remarks at Public Ceremony Hosted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Honor of Bipartisan Delegation Visit

May 10, 2017

Dharamsala, India – U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at a ceremony hosted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Tsuglagkhang Temple in honor of the visit by a bipartisan Congressional delegation.

“What we see here today in support of the Tibetan people – we have said, as we stayed here – we have said to the top leadership of the Chinese Government. We recognize that China weighs heavily on any country, any corporation, any person – Richard Gere can attest to that – who speaks out for the Tibetan people. China uses its economic leverage to silence the voices of friends of Tibet. But if we do not speak out against oppression in Tibet because of China’s economic power, we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights anywhere else in the world.

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United States Commission on International Religious Freedom annual report

April 30, 2014

On April 30, 2014, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report for 2014. It found that “[f]or Tibetan Buddhists … conditions are worse now than at any time in the past decade.”

The Commission is an “independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.” It issues reports and makes policy recommendations to the President, the State Department, and Congress.

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Maria Otero and Lodi Gyari

US government statements regarding US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues’ visit to India

U.S. Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero visits India U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India Press Releases 2011 February 8, 2011 Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs María Otero is visiting India February 8-11, traveling to Karnataka and New Delhi. In Karnataka, Under Secretary Otero is visiting the Bylakuppe […]

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European Parliament Resolution of 12 March 2009 on the 50th Anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising

European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2009 on the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising and dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government The European Parliament, – having regard to its previous resolutions on China and Tibet, in particular its resolutions of 10 April 2008 on Tibet (Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0119.) and […]

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Senator Obama condemns China’s use of force on Tibetans

Senator Barack Obama has condemned the use of violence by China to put down peaceful protests in Tibet and called on the Chinese Government to respect the human rights of the Tibetans and to account for the detained demonstrators. In a statement on March 14, 2008, Obama said these protests “demonstrate the continuing frustration of […]

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Speaker Pelosi asks China to free Tibetans detained for peaceful demonstrations

US Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Chinese Government to free the Tibetans who have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting in Tibet. In remarks at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on April 1, 2008, on her congressional delegation trip to India and Europe,”The Chinese government is saying His Holiness is the instigator of violence–here is […]

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Senator Lugar asks China to address root cause of Tibetan unrest, deplores China’s attack against the Dalai Lama

US Senator Dick Lugar, the Senior Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, has said that China “should address the root causes of the unrest, which are related to Tibetans; growing belief that their culture, religion and economic status are under threat from Chinese policies.” In a statement on March 31, 2008, Lugar said he was […]

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Obama writes to Bush expressing concern on Tibet, says US should ask UN to send investigation team

US presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama has written a letter to President George Bush saying the situation in Tibet is very disturbing and calling on the United States and other governments to ask the UN to send an investigation team to Tibet. In the letter, dated March 28, 2008, Obama called on Bush to employ […]

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Bush phones Hu Jintao on Tibet, calls for access to diplomats

President George Bush phoned Chinese President Hu Jintao on March 26, 2008 to express his concerns about the situation in Tibet and to call for access to journalists and diplomats to Tibet. Bush also “encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives,” according to a statement by the White […]

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House Foreign Affairs Chair asks China to negotiate with the Dalai Lama

Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the Chinese Government to end its brutal crackdown in Tibet and to “immediately enter into direct negotiations with the Dalai Lama to bring peace to Tibet.” In a statement released on March 17, 2008, Congressman Berman said, “Over the next few days, it is […]

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Senator Clinton urges China to prevent further escalation of conflict in Tibet

Senator Hillary Clinton has expressed her deep concern at the “violent clashes” in Tibet and called on the Chinese government to prevent further escalation of this conflict. In a statement released on March 15, 2008, she said, “Upholding freedom and human rights in Tibet will happen through negotiation, and with a commitment on all sides […]

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Senator McCain urges China to address root causes for unrest in Tibet

Senator John McCain has deplored the violent crackdown by Chinese authorities and the continuing oppression in Tibet. In a statement on March 18, 2008, he urged China to address the root causes of unrest in Tibet by opening a genuine dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Following is the full statement of Senator John […]

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