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Tibet-US-China-McGovern-2014Dharamshala: - A bipartisan group of US lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives asking an open and accessible Tibet to objectively assess the human rights situation in the Tibetan areas.

This bipartisan bill, called "The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act," promotes access to Tibetan areas of China for U.S. officials, journalists, and average citizens, Mr McGovern said. Currently, travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on Tibet are more severe than for any other provincial-level entity of China.

These restrictions have negative consequences for both U.S. citizens and Tibetans. After an October 2013 bus crash with Americans on board, U.S. consular officers faced prolonged delays in obtaining access to Tibet, hindering their ability to serve Americans in distress, he said.

"Restricted access to Tibet leaves Tibetans in virtual isolation from the world community, limiting international exchange and the ability to objectively assess the human rights situation there," said Mr McGovern. "I am grateful to the Tibetan community in Massachusetts and to the International Campaign for Tibet for all of their hard work and activism on this important issue."

"Our aim is not to limit exchange; it is to foster exchanges between America and Tibet, Rep. McGovern continued. "Our goal is an open and accessible Tibet, where Americans can visit and learn from the wonders of the Tibetan Plateau – its natural beauty, its people, and its rich culture and religious heritage."

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) is the lead Republican co-sponsor of the bill.

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