US leader Pelosi seeks efforts for meaningful Tibet autonomy

Mar 10, 2018, 15:59 IST | PTI

Every year, Tibetan Uprising Day commemorates resistance to occupation of Chinese government forces in Tibet on March 10, 1959.

On the 59th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, a top American leader today sought to re-energise international efforts to ensure meaningful autonomy for Tibet. "If we do not speak out for human rights in Tibet because of economic concerns, then we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights in any other place in the world," Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement. Every year, Tibetan Uprising Day commemorates resistance to occupation of Chinese government forces in Tibet on March 10, 1959.

"Let us move forward together, renewed by the enduring faith of the Tibetan people and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and re-energise our efforts to ensure meaningful autonomy for Tibet and guarantee that the culture, religion and human rights of the Tibetan people be fully and forever respected," Pelosi said. Nearly 60 years ago, the Tibetan people stood defiant in the face of oppression and brutality, she said. "Guided by their great faith and dignity, the Tibetan people refused to be silent" and the rest of the world heard their clarion call for freedom and justice," she added. In March 2008, the people of Tibet spoke out once more as they faced horrific human rights abuses simply for practicing their religion and culture, Pelosi said.

"Today, the abysmal human rights situation in Tibet continues to be a challenge to the conscience of the world. All freedom-loving people must continue to speak out, until every Tibetan man, woman and child is able to celebrate their heritage and culture, learn their own language, freely practice their faith and secure the dignity and respect that they deserve," Pelosi said. Meanwhile, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a resolution in the US Senate to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, which affirms support for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and freedoms, including their right to self-determination and the protection of their distinct religious, cultural, linguistic and national identity. Expressing its sense that the identification and installation of

Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama, is a matter that should be determined solely within the Tibetan Buddhist faith community, in accordance with the inalienable right to religious freedom, the resolution calls on the US Secretary of State to fully implement provisions of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002. It said representatives of the US government in exchanges with officials of the Chinese government should call for and otherwise promote the cessation of all interference by China in the religious affairs of the Tibetan people.

The resolution urged the US Ambassador in China to meet with the 11th Panchen Lama, who was arbitrarily detained on May 17, 1995, and otherwise ascertain information concerning his whereabouts and wellbeing. It said US secretary of state should make efforts to establish an office in Tibet's capital Lhasa, to monitor political, economic, and cultural developments in the Himalayan region.

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