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congressional delegation press conf USADharamshala — The eight member bipartisan Congressional delegation led by House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said that "the situation of Tibet is a challenge of the conscience of the world," during a press conference on May 16th following their arrival home, where they spoke about their experience and their renewed commitment to human rights and the Tibetan issue.

The delegation of Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel, Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu, Joyce Beatty and Pramila Jayapal led by Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Tibetan diaspora communities in Nepal and India. The team also met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the President of exile Tibetan government, Lobsang Sangay, as well as Indian PM Narendra Modi in an attempt to revitalize US commitment to human rights and people of Tibet.

Leader Nancy Pelosi opened the press conference on Capitol Hill, introducing her fellow delegation members, and adding that, "the situation of Tibet is a challenge of the conscious of the world."

Fellow Representatives also joined the Leader in speaking about their time, as Representative Betty McCollum began by saying, "It was a tremendous honor to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is an amazing person who has spread compassion throughout this world. There is a consensus among Democrats and Republicans that we must continue to support His Holiness and the Tibetan people, both in their struggle against their oppression in China and their commitment to preserving their Tibetan culture. We must speak out against the mistreatment of the Tibetan people no matter what pressure Beijing brings.

"It is with great disappointment that the Chinese government has not made a way forward to find the Middle Way, as the Dalai Lama has spoken about so that the Tibetan culture can once again be vibrant and be in its home in China," Rep. McCullum added.

Representative Judy Chu said, "The Dalai Lama said while we were there that the issue of Tibetan autonomy is an issue of justice. Now that I've been there, I understand totally. It is a justice for a people that merely want to practice their own religion, language, and culture. America was built on the fundamental principles of freedom of religion and speech; these are our values as Americans. Let us make sure we uphold these values and that we do not let this horrible injustice continue around the world."

Finally, Representative Joyce Beatty, who was a member of the previous delegation that visited Tibet, said, "Even sitting with the Dalai Lama to hear first hand his journey of being in exile for some 50 years, yet he is able to speak to and live with boundless compassion and not anger. He suggested to us, when angry, widen your perspective. Speaking with the Dalai Lama, brought to my mind similar philosophies of Dr Martin Luther King and Gandhi who both advocated for nonviolence resistance, civil disobedience and that the best way to change human conditions around the world is through peace.

"We stand with the people of Tibet. We stand with the Dalai Lama, and we will continue to advocate here and abroad."

The bipartisan US delegation visited Dharamshala from May 9-10 and Jawalakhel Tibetan settlement in Kathmandu on May 8.

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