United States Congressional Delegation Briefs Press On Dharamsala Visit.


May 16, 2017


The U.S. Democratic House Leader, Nancy Pelosi during the press briefing held at HVC Studio A in Washington D.C.
to reiterate support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to ensure Tibetan religion, culture, language
and human rights.

DHARAMSHALA: The U.S. Democratic House Leader, Nancy Pelosi and members of the recent bipartisan congressional delegation to India and Nepal held a press conference today at HVC Studio A in Washington D.C. to reiterate support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to ensure Tibetan religion, culture, language and human rights.

Leader Nancy Pelosi said the chief concern of the delegation was "the brutal conduct of the Chinese government to erase the language, the culture and the religion of the Tibetan people and the challenges facing Tibetans in other countries."

"Our delegation provided us with the wonderful opportunity to see the aspirations of the Tibetan people first hand, especially the eyes of the Tibetan school children in Dharamshala."

"The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world," she said.

"China weighs more heavily on any country, corporation or personality who speaks out for the Tibetan people. It uses its economic status or any leverage to silence the voices of friends of Tibet. If we do not speak out against repression in China and Tibet, because of their economic power, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world."

Representative Eliot Engel said, "I deeply appreciate India's hosting more than 150,000 Tibetans refugees in India since 1959, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has been an inspiration for people all around the world. This refugee Tibetan community whose central Tibetan authority has really become moral, democratic, self governance holding elections and working for the interest of its people even in the most adverse of circumstances. We also have a situation where many of these Tibetan people are also in Nepal. We urged government of Nepal to give these people certain rights. Unfortunately, many of them are stateless and caught between the two borders."

Representative Engel further said that United States support the one-China policy and that there's no contradiction between the one china policy and the aspiration of the Tibetan people for genuine autonomy.

"There's no contradiction in its strategy; the Chinese government should fulfill its promise for the people of Tibet for genuine autonomy and resume dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama at the earliest opportunity. Also very very importantly, the Chinese government should leave discussions of the Dalai Lama's succession-he is 82-to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. They should not impose a house puppet and claim that person is successor to Dalai Lama. It is a religious matter, not a state matter.

"Tibetans should be free to practice and preserve a very distinct religious cultural linguistic heritage without the fear of persecution. If you stay with them as long as we did, you will realize that its distinct, very much distinct from the people running China from Beijing," he said.

Representative Jim McGovern said, "This trip that we just returned from was to make clear to the Chinese government that the issue of Tibet is not going away. We were honoured to be received by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Lobsang Sangay and thousands and thousands of Tibetans in Dharamshala. We are grateful to the people of India and Indian government for being generous host to the thousands of Tibetans who have fled China.

"We believe His Holiness and Tibetans living in exile should be allowed to return home to Tibet and be able to fully practice their religion, celebrate their culture, speak their language and have geniune autonomous status according to the Middle Way Approach advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"We firmly believe that the Chinese government does not have the right to name the reincarnated religious leaders of Tibet. That responsibility rests with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. We urged all government leaders we met with, to encourage China to restart China-Tibetan dialogue so that all relevant issues can be discussed and resolved.

"Chinese government needs to overcome its paranoia about the Dalai Lama. It is a mystery to me why a man of peace, love, justice and truth is viewed with such fear. He is not threatening to break up China; he only wants to go home along with other Tibetans to live their lives and I hope that day comes soon.

"In Nepal, we asked the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the parliamentary speaker and the President to allow all eligible Tibetans in their country to be registered so they can legally seek employment, establish businesses and travel freely. The United States should join another governments and form a group of friends that could meet regularly and publicly to discuss issues regarding Tibet.

"In Germany, we raised this issue with National Security Advisor and in Brussels, we discussed coordinated efforts with EU parliamentarians. We call upon Congress to pass the bipartisan reciprocal access to Tibet Act which requires China to provide US journalists, diplomats and tourists the same right to travel freely to Tibet, that Chinese officials and citizens enjoy freely here in America.

"We urge President Trump and his administration to make Tibet a priority, appoint a special coordinator for Tibet issues and meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The eight-member bipartisan delegation led by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Dharamshala on a two-day official visit from 9-10 May. Central Tibetan Administration organised a public felicitation in honor of the congressional delegation's visit to Dharamshala. The ceremony was graced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and attended by Tibetans and supporters in droves.


Leader Pelosi and US Congressional delegation addressing the public at the felicitation program,
Dharamshala, May 10, 2017.

Transcript of the press briefing:

Leader Nancy Pelosi:

"Our delegation discussed a number of bilateral issues and regional concerns with our partners and we were honoured to be received by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The chief concern of our delegation was the brutal conduct of the Chinese government to erase the culture, language and the religion of the Tibetan people and the challenges facing Tibetans in other countries. The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world. China weighs more heavily on any country, corporation or personality who speaks out for the Tibetan people. It uses its economic status or any leverage to silence the voices of friends of Tibet. If we do not speak out against repression in China and Tibet, because of their economic power, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world.

In every meeting, we emphasise the strong bipartisan support, bipartisan in house, bipartisan in the senate. For the autonomy of Tibet, for preserving the religion, culture and langue of Tibetan people and for Tibetan population in all nations. Our delegation provided us with the wonderful opportunity to see the aspirations of the Tibetan people first hand, especially the eyes of the Tibetan school children in Dharamshala.

"To some in China, an authentic, autonomous Tibet may seem inconceivable. The Chinese may think we are never going to let this happen. To us it is inevitable. We have to shorten distance between the inconceivable to Chinese government and the inevitable to the Tibetan people.

Representative Eliot Engel:

"I deeply appreciate India's hosting more than 150,000 Tibetans refugees in India since 1959, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has been an inspiration for people all around the world. This refugee Tibetan community who is central Tibetan authority has really become moral, democratic, self governance holding elections and working for the interest of its people even in the most adverse of circumstances. We also have a situation where many of these Tibetan people are also in Nepal. We urged government of Nepal to give these people certain rights. Unfortunately, many of them are stateless and caught between the two borders.

The United States does support the one china policy. You hear a lot of talk from Beijing government that this is an attempt to subvert the one china policy. It isn't because there is no contradiction between the one china policy and the aspirations of Tibetan people for genuine autonomy. The Dalai Lama said many times that he is pushing for autonomy. That's what he is pushing for, nothing more. So Tibetans should be free to practice and preserve a very distinct religious cultural linguistic heritage without the fear of persecution. If you stay with them as long as we did, you will realize that its distinct, very much distinct from the people running China from Beijing. So there's no contradiction in its strategy, the Chinese government should fulfill its promise for the people of Tibet for genuine autonomy and resume its dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama at the earliest opportunity.

Also very very importantly, the Chinese government should leave discussions of the Dalai Lama's succession-he is 82-to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. They should not impose a house puppet and claim that person is successor to Dalai Lama. It is a religious matter, not a state matter. It is very clear, I think, that we spoke out and said this.

This is another reason, our Foreign Affairs Committee, particularly Democrats, we have been very vocal against the President's draconian cuts to the state department and cuts to USAID. This is another reason why having a fully funded State Department and USAID is so important. Support from the American people through the Tibet Fund play an important role in helping Tibetan refugees provide for their healthcare, education and economic development in India, Nepal and Bhutan. State Department should fill special coordinator for Tibet position in addition to many senior positions currently vacant. So this isn't a game, this really affects people's lives.

So I just want to again say how grateful I am, the fact that the Tibetan people, with the Dalai Lama really opened up their homes and culture to us. We had a rally for the Dalai Lama; there were hundreds of thousands of people there and outside. We all spoke. It really was a wonderful thing and we deeply appreciate that fact the United States hasn't forgotten them, is with them and will continue to monitor the situation very very closely.

Representative Jim McGovern:

"This trip that we just returned from was to make clear to the Chinese government that the issue of Tibet is not going away. We were honoured to be received by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President Lobsang Sangay and thousands and thousands of Tibetans in Dharamshala. We are grateful to the people of India and Indian government for being generous host to the thousands of Tibetans who have fled China.

We believe His Holiness and Tibetans living in exile should be allowed to return home to Tibet and be able to fully practice their religion, celebrate their culture, speak their language and have genuine autonomous status according to the Middle Way Approach advocated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

We firmly believe that the Chinese government does not have the right to name the reincarnated religious leaders of Tibet. That responsibility rests with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. We urged all government leaders we met with, to encourage China to restart China-Tibetan dialogue so that all relevant issues can be discussed and resolved.

In Nepal, we asked the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the parliamentary speaker and the President to allow all eligible Tibetans in their country to be registered so they can legally seek employment, establish businesses and travel freely. The United States should join another governments and form a group of friends that could meet regularly and publicly to discuss issues regarding Tibet.

In Germany, we raised this issue with National Security Advisor and in Brussels, we discussed coordinated efforts with EU parliamentarians. We call upon Congress to pass the bipartisan reciprocal access to Tibet Act which requires China to provide US journalists, diplomats and tourists the same right to travel freely to Tibet, that Chinese officials and citizens enjoy freely here in America.

We urge President Trump and his administration to make Tibet a priority, appoint a special coordinator for Tibet issues and meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Chinese government needs to overcome its paranoia about the Dalai Lama. It is a mystery to me why a man of peace, love, justice and truth is viewed with such fear. He is not threatening to break up China; he only wants to go home along with other Tibetans to live their lives and I hope that day comes soon."

Courtesy:


go