(TibetanReview.net, Feb17, 2018) – Companion resolutions were introduced in the two houses of the US Congress by Senators Leahy (D), Feinstein (D), and Cruz (R) and Representatives McGovern (D) and Hultgren (R) to commemorate the 1959 Tibetan Uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day” on Mar 10. The resolutions also express support for human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The resolutions also recall that Mar 10, 2018 would also be the 10th anniversary of the 2008 protests that started in Lhasa and then spread across the Tibetan Plateau, which were brutally suppressed by Chinese authorities.
The resolutions take note of the fact that at least 152 Tibetans have self-immolated inside the PRC in protest against Chinese rule since then.
And the resolutions criticize the PRC’s interference in the religious freedom of the Tibetan people, specifically noting the enforced disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama and the installation of their own candidate in his place.
On the question of the future identification of the 15th Dalai Lama, the resolution, taking note of the current, 14th Dalai Lama’s statement on the identification of his successor, says, “no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends” by PRC authorities.
Expressing his support for the resolution, Leahy has said, “We can foster closer, cooperative relations with China, but until China works with Tibetan leaders to pursue a new way forward, their reputation in the community of nations, and their ability to act as a global power, will remain deeply tarnished.”
The resolutions call on the Secretary of State to fully implement the Tibetan Policy Act in cooperation with like-minded states where appropriate and urge the US Ambassador to China to meet with the Panchen Lama, and call for further efforts to open a US consulate in Lhasa.