(TibetanReview.net, Nov19’22) – The executive head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at Dharamshala, India, has on Nov 18 expressed gratitude and prayers for the continued wellbeing of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following her announcement the day before of her decision to step back from seeking a leadership role in the Democratic caucus in the US Congress after being at its helm for nearly 20 years. Congressman James P McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, has praised her as the most effective speaker in the history of the House of Representatives.
Speaker Pelosi, 82, has been a powerful voice for Tibet during her three and half decades in the US Congress. She visited Dharamshala and met with the Dalai Lama twice: in Mar 2008 as the House Speaker after Tibet was rocked by massive protests against Chinese rule, and in May 2017 as the House Minority leader leading a bipartisan delegation. She has repeatedly called the repressiveness of the Chinese rule in Tibet “a challenge to the conscience of the world.”
Expressing gratitude for being a constant supporter and a friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet, Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the CTA, has written to Pelosi: “Your presence at the helm of the House has been a great source of hope, inspiration and, above all, assurance. The Tibetans are forever grateful for your friendship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and for your unparalleled leadership and support in strengthening bipartisan support for Tibet in the US Congress and advancing the cause of Tibet as per the hopes and aspirations of Tibetans inside Tibet.”
Earlier, announcing her decision on the floor of the House, Pelosi, the first woman to serve as its Speaker, had said, “I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress. … For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.”
Pelosi also said she will continue serving in the House as the representative from San Francisco, California, a position she has held for 35 years.
The Tibetan Sikyong has welcomed her decision to continue to serve her constituency in Congress. “We are comforted by the fact that we will continue to witness your fearless leadership and service as an honourable member of Congress in the coming year. I look forward to your guidance and advice on our future course,” he has said.
Meanwhile, reacting to her decision, McGovern has said Nov 17, “Nancy Pelosi has been, without a doubt, the greatest, most effective speaker in the history of the House of Representatives.”
Agreeing that she is the hardest working Member in Congress, he has said: “There is not a single Member of Congress more dedicated to upholding democratic principles and human rights around the world than Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Each time we have traveled abroad to represent the people of the United States, I have been in awe of her tenacity, her courage, and her persistence in doing what is right—no matter what. I’ve seen her stand up to tyrants, bullies, and dictators. She uses her power not to diminish or demean, but to uplift and empower the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized.”
Recalling a visit to China with Pelosi, McGovern has said, “Traveling to China, the government informed us that we would not be permitted to visit Tibet. Speaker Pelosi challenged the government and used her platform to draw attention to the Tibetan people’s struggle for justice.”