Gonpo Dhundup, President of the Tibetan Youth Congress and Rigzin Choedon, National Director of the Students for a Free Tibet – India, during a joint press conference in Dharamshala, India, on June 1, 2020. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India —While warmly applauding the U.S. Congress for a historical bill to recognize Tibet as an independent country, the Students for a Free Tibet, and the Tibetan Youth Congress urge the US lawmaker Scott Perry, to include the whole of Tibet in the new Tibet bill.

US lawmaker Scott Perry has introduced a bill in the US Congress to recognize Tibet as an independent country. The historical bill also disputes over the so-called “One China Policy” imposed by the authoritarian communist regime in China. A similar kind of bill for Hong Kong has also been introduced by the lawmaker. Both the bills been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Youth Congress released a joint statement during a press conference held in Dharamshala, on June 1, 2020. The statement says, “while H.R.6948 refers to the “Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of the People’s Republic of China,” Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Youth Congress have engaged with Congressman Perry’s office to request that he amend this language so as to include the whole of Tibet, not just the TAR.”

“The Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for a Free Tibet, two of the largest global grassroots organizations in the Tibetan freedom struggle, applaud the ‘Free Tibet Act of 2020’ (H.R. 6948) introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) on May 19, 2020," the statement said.

“This bill represents a historic milestone for the Tibetan people who have struggled for freedom and independence from China for the last 70 years and it will go down in history as an important moment when the American people recognized Tibet’s legitimate claim to independence,” said Gonpo Dhundup, President of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

"The so-called “Tibet Autonomous Region” was formed on September 9, 1965 by the Chinese Communist Party after its illegal invasion of Tibet, and constitutes less than half of the actual size of Tibet. For the last seven decades, Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, from the three traditional regions of Tibet –– U-stang, Kham and Amdo –– have been fighting against the colonial occupation of our homeland by China. Moreover, since 2009, there have been 156 cases of Tibetan self-immolation protests against Chinese rule in all the three traditional regions of Tibet," it continued.

The statement further added, "the China’s initial coverup of the Coronavirus outbreak led to a pandemic that has now brought the entire world to a standstill. It is clear that the Chinese government’s authoritarian practices of censorship and repression endanger people everywhere. The international community must reject the Chinese government’s model of surveillance and control that Tibetan, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Hong Konger, Taiwanese, and Chinese people have suffered under for too long. The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable."

“As the Tibet movement welcomes this bill, we call on all governments and global institutions to come together in solidarity during this crisis to ensure that freedom and human rights are upheld,” said Dorjee Tseten, Executive Director for the Students for a Free Tibet.

“We urge world governments to take immediate multilateral action against Beijing’s authoritarian rule by challenging China’s illegal occupation of Tibet and by rejecting the ‘One China Policy’ in theory and practice. We urge other governments and leaders to take a stronger political stand when dealing with China and introduce similar bills to recognize Tibet as a separate, independent country that remains under China’s illegal occupation,” he added.

The TYC is a worldwide Organisation of Tibetans united in our common struggle for the restoration of complete independence for the whole of Tibet, which includes the traditional three provinces of U-Tsang, Dho-toe, and Dho-med. An independent Organisation, with a written constitution and its own plans and programmes, it has emerged as the largest and most active non-governmental Organisation of Tibetans in exile. It has more than 35,000 members worldwide.

The SFT works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world. Through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action, we campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom. SFT was founded in New York City in 1994 by a group of Tibetans and young students and supporters. Since that time, SFT has grown into an international network of students and activists in more than 35 countries with its headquarters based in New York.