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US House urges unconditional Tibet talks on Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday

The US Capitol.
The US Capitol.

(TibetanReview.net, Jul10, 2015) – The US House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution on the 80th birthday Jul 6 of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Calling for substantive dialogue, without preconditions, in order to address Tibetan grievances and secure a negotiated agreement for the Tibetan people. The resolution’s draft was introduced Jun 24 by Congressmen Eliot Engels, Matt Salmon, Jim McGovern and Joe Pitts with 29 original cosponsors.

Smith initiated the debate by saying, “When so many voices around the world are joined in wishing His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, a happy 80th birthday, it is a fitting time to re-commit ourselves to Congress’s longstanding support for the fundamental rights of the people of Tibet, because the situation in Tibet has never been more bleak.”

Others who spoke in support of the resolution included Eliot Engel (D), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Jim McGovern (D) and Dana Rohabacher (R).

Jim McGovern, who is also Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said in his remarks that the commission would hold a hearing on the situation in Tibet on Jul 14 with the aim of identifying new, creative ideas to advance the basic human rights of Tibetans and ensure Tibetan autonomy.

Matteo Mecacci, President of Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, said the resolution reflected the growing concern over the worsening of the human rights situation in China and in Tibet, that “it will be in the Chinese Government’s interest to radically change its policy towards Tibetans and to uphold its international human rights obligations. Legislators and Governments all over the world should take note of this debate and question China’s human rights record in Tibet.”

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