OBITUARY: Senator John McCain remembered as a strong voice for Tibet

August 29, 2018 7:01 am0 commentsViews: 46
The Dalai Lama (R) presents Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) with a Khata during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on October 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice hosted the ceremony to honor the Dalai Lama as the first recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize. (Photo courtesy: zimbio)

The Dalai Lama (R) presents Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) with a Khata during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on October 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice hosted the ceremony to honor the Dalai Lama as the first recipient of the Lantos Human Rights Prize. (Photo courtesy: zimbio)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug28, 2018) – Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has on Aug 26 expressed condolences over the passing away of US Senator John McCain, known to be a critic of China and strong supporter of the Tibet issue. He passed away on Aug 24 after refusing further treatment for his brain cancer, aged 81.

Writing to the late Senator’s window Cindy McCain, the Dalai Lama wrote, “I had the pleasure of meeting your husband in 2008 in Aspen after long admiring his many years of dedicated service to the American people. … I appreciated his genuine concern for democracy, human rights and the environment in general and particularly in Tibet, for which I remain grateful.”

Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Aug 27 that the late Senator had always remained concerned about the plight of the Tibetan people and supported many of the initiatives in the US Congress aimed at finding a resolution to the Tibet issue.

The group also recalled that in 2008, following China’s brutal crackdown on protesting Tibetans, Senator McCain issued a strong statement on Mar 18, 2008, saying, “The unfolding tragedy in Tibet should draw the attention of the entire world. I deplore the violent crackdown by Chinese authorities and the continuing oppression in Tibet of those merely wishing to practice their faith and preserve their culture and heritage. I have listened carefully to the Dalai Lama and am convinced he is a man of peace who reflects the hopes and aspirations of Tibetans. I urge the government of the People’s Republic of China to address the root causes of unrest in Tibet by opening a genuine dialogue with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.”

McCain, a multi-decorated war hero and a towering figure in the US Senate widely admired for his personal integrity and patriotism, was stated to have met with the Dalai Lama several times, including the one in 2008 when he was the Republican Presidential nominee.

Most recently, the late Senator met with ICT Chairman Richard Gere and enquired to know how he could help with the Trump Administration’s policies on Tibet. McCain was later stated to have tweeted on Mar 2, 2017: “Enjoyed meeting with Richard Gere yesterday to talk about issues facing Tibet.”

Senator McCain, who had also met with CTA President Lobsang Sangay, is stated to be survived by his 106-year-old mother Roberta McCain, wife Cindy McCain, and seven children.

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