Washington, D.C. – Seventy-two Members of Congress of the United States have urged President Barack Obama to formulate "new, creative strategies to encourage meaningful dialogue, protect Tibetan rights, and preserve their unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity" during the remaining months of his term in office.
This appeal was contained in a letter that was initiated by Congressman Jim McGovern. The letter also urges the Administration to take proactive steps to support the Dalai Lama and Tibet.
McGovern Leads 72 Lawmakers in Call for President Obama to Make Tibet a Priority in Final Months in Office.
Congressman McGovern has been a leading voice in Congress pushing for the United States to do more to support reforms that would strengthen human rights in Tibet. In November 2015, Congressman McGovern joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers on a trip to China and Tibet to urge Chinese leaders to enact reforms to increase the freedom and autonomy of the Tibetan people.
"We write to ask that you redouble efforts in support of the Tibetan people during your remaining months in office. We believe it is critically important to move beyond words to actions," McGovern and House lawmakers wrote in the letter to President Obama.
"The Tibetan people view the United States as their friend. It is time to honor that friendship with new, creative strategies to encourage meaningful dialogue, protect Tibetan rights, and preserve their unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity."
In the letter to President Obama, Congressman McGovern and House lawmakers call for:
U.S. government officials to invite the Dalai Lama to every event, on every occasion, where his knowledge and decades of reflections would be helpful for addressing the world's problems.
U.S. government officials to facilitate the involvement of the Dalai Lama or his representatives in the global debate on climate change and its potential consequences given Tibet's fragile environment, rapid warming, and critically important reserves of freshwater.
The establishment of a U.S. consular office in Lhasa, Tibet to help the U.S. observe and address the obstacles to freedom of movement that affect both Tibetans within China, and U.S. citizens, including Tibetan-Americans, who seek to travel to Tibetan areas of China.
The U.S. government to publicly support the right of the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet
President Obama to publicly and regularly call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Tibetan political prisoners held by the People's Republic of China whose cases have been documented by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Enforcement of norms of reciprocity to ensure that senior Chinese officials responsible for restricting the access of U.S. officials, journalists, Tibetan-Americans and other citizens to Tibetan areas of China are themselves restricted in their travel when they are in the United States.
Other members of the state’s all-Democratic House delegation who signed the letter include Reps. Michael Capuano, Richard Neal, William Keating, Niki Tsongas, Joe Kennedy and Stephen Lynch.