(TibetanReview.net, Mar02, 2018) – More than a hundred Tibetan-Americans and supporters from across the United States have gathering in Washington, DC, to lobby for increased support for Tibet and the Tibetan people with their elected representatives. They will spread out to meet with concerned congressional representatives and government leaders during the 10th annual Tibet Lobby Day which will take place from Mar 4 to 6, 2018.
Said the lobby’s coordinator International Campaign for Tibet Feb 28: “They will ask Members of Congress to pass legislation that support the aspirations of the Tibetan people, most notably the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2017. They will also urge Congress to continue funding Tibet programs, advocate for the release of Tibetan political prisoners, promote access to Tibetan areas for journalists, citizens, and US officials, and to hold Chinese leaders accountable for their human rights violations in Tibet.”
The US policy on the Tibetan issue is guided by the Tibetan Policy Act (TPA) of 2002. Its objective is to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity under the existing conditions of Chinese rule which greatly endanger it. The Act established the State Department position of Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, with the aim to promote substantive dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, or his representatives. The Trump Administration has so far not filled that position.
The Special Coordinator is also required to coordinate United States Government policies, programs, and projects concerning Tibet, vigorously promote the policy of seeking to protect the distinct religious, cultural, linguistic, and national identity of Tibet, and press for improved respect for human rights.
The Tibet Lobby Day in Washington is coordinated by the International Campaign for Tibet in cooperation with US based Tibet groups, including the Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Associations in the US.
A Tibet Lobby Day is also taking place on Mar 7, 2018 in London, with Tibetans and supporters meeting their MPs to talk to them about Tibet and push for action. This is being jointly organized by Tibet Society, Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet, and the Tibetan Community UK.