Washington, D.C. – Members of United States Congress express Solidarity with people of Tibet on Tibetan National Uprising Day Anniversary.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement in observance of Tibetan Uprising Day, which commemorates resistance to occupation by Chinese government forces in Tibet on March 10, 1959:
"Each March 10th, we honor the determination of those who stood against the Chinese government's brutal attack on Tibetans during the Lhasa Uprising. These people of faith, propelled by the longing to preserve their religion and culture stood defiant in the face of oppression. Refusing to be silenced by violence; they cried out for their just cause. And, around the world, we heard them and continue to hear their cause today.
"The memory of the thousands of Tibetans who have sacrificed, faced exile, and died opposing the actions of the Chinese government, and all Tibetans who have suffered human rights abuses due to their religious, political or cultural beliefs and activities or any other reason, challenges us to remember. In 2015, I led the first Congressional Delegation to Tibet in more than a decade. On this journey, Members of Congress were reminded anew that the plight of the Tibetan people is a challenge to the global conscience.
"The recently released State Department Human Rights report highlighting the continued severe repression facing the Tibetan people today challenges us to redouble our efforts to speak out and take action against injustice. We will continue to promote negotiations between the government of China and His Holiness the Dalai Lama and make genuine autonomy for Tibetans a priority in the U.S.-China relationship."
Congressman Jim McGovern also released statement on the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.
"Today, Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House of Representatives and a leading congressional advocate of human rights around the world, issued the following statment to mark the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising.
"on Friday, March 10th, Tibetans around the world will mark the fifty-eightth anniversart of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule. On that day in 1959, thousands of Tibetans, fearing for the safety of His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, defied Chinese forces and surrounded the Potala Palace in Lhasa to offer him protection, transforming a simering rebellion into full-scale revolt that lasted through 1962. The Dalai Lama, along thousands of his followers, fled over the Himalayas to Dharamsala, India, where he continues to be based to this day. His Holiness has never been permitted to return to his country, nor have the injustices that prompted the rebellion - derived from China's interference with fundamental rights of the Tibetan people to their identity and autonomy - ever been resolved.
"This year the Dalai Lama will be celebrate his 82nd birthday, while Chinese authorities led by President Xi Jinping deepen repressive policies against Tibetan Buddhists and other communities of faith in China. Most recently, we have witnessed the deeply disturbing images of demolitions at Larung Gar, the world's largest center for the study of Tibetan Buddhism, and the expulsion of nuns and monks from their homes.
"Today, as we celebrate the resilience of the Tibetan people, I call on China's leaders to embrace a different appproach to Tibet. President Xi Jinping should allow the Dalai Lama to travel back to Tibet. The Chinese government should re-start a serious, constructive dialogue on Tibetan autonomy with His Holiness or his duly designated representatives. And Chinese authorities at every level should end their efforts to undermine Tibetan language, religion and culture, and allow the Tibetan people to move freely within and outside of China. Taking these steps would greatly benefit Tibet and all of Chinese society, as well as China on the world stage. The alternative, continuing down the current path, will forever undermine Chinese aspirations to global leadership."