(TibetanReview.net, May18, 2017) – Calling the current situation in Tibet a challenge to the conscience of the world, US House Democratic (and Minority) Leader, Nancy Pelosi, has on May 16 reiterate support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his efforts to ensure Tibetan religion, culture, language and human rights.
Addressing a press briefing at the HVC Studio A in Washington DC, following a May 9-10 bipartisan House Congressional delegation visit to Dharamshala, 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.”
She said the visit provided the delegation with a “wonderful opportunity to see the aspirations of the Tibetan people first hand, especially the eyes of the Tibetan school children in Dharamshala.”
Referring to the arduous challenge of compelling China to address the issue of Tibet, Pelosi 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.”
Delegation member Eliot Engel said it was very, very important that “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.”
Jim McGovern, another delegation member, said the trip was meant to make it clear to the Chinese government that “the issue of Tibet is not going away”.
He also said: The “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.”
He suggested that the United States join other governments and form a group of friends that could meet regularly and publicly to discuss issues regarding Tibet.
And he called upon the US We 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.”
He also urged “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 other members of the delegation were Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu, Joyce Beatty and Pramila Jayapal.