Washington, D.C – More than 100 Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters joined the Tibet Lobby Day to urge senators and the House of Representatives to pass the Resolve Tibet Act and maintain U.S. funding for the Tibetan people, urging full implementation of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act.
This annual event has been organised by the International Campaign (ICT) for Tibet since 2009. This year, more than 150 Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters participated in the Tibet Lobby Day and visited Senators and the House of Representatives, as well as staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 27 to 28, 2023, to urge them to pass the Resolve Tibet Act and maintain U.S. funding for the Tibetan people, to fully implement the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, and to call for the release of Tibetan political prisoners.
“We are delighted that an unprecedented number of Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters from across the United States are joining us in Washington, DC for this year’s 15th annual Tibet Lobby Day. This record sign-up shows not only the urgency to resolve China’s illegal occupation of Tibet, but the incredible enthusiasm around Congress’ growing efforts to support the Tibetan people,"” said Tencho Gyatso, Interim Vice President of ICT.
“Tibet Lobby Day 2023 will help set the stage for Congress to pass vital legislation that will advance the Tibetan people’s pursuit toward a just solution for Tibet. ICT thanks all of this year’s participants, as well as the members of Congress and Congressional staff they’ll be meeting with, for making this important event possible,” she added.
The Congressional-Executive Committee on China held a hearing on "Preserving Tibet: Cultural Erasure, Forced Assimilation and Coercion of Tibetans in the United States" on March 28, 2023. Witnesses included Penpa Tsering, the Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration, Richard Gere, Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, and Lhadon Tethong and Tenzin Dorjee of the Tibet Action Institute.
The Resolve Tibet Act, which Senators Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, and Todd Young, R-Ind, and Representatives McGovern and McCaul introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively. The bipartisan bill aims to pressure the Chinese government to resume negotiations with envoys of the Dalai Lama to peacefully resolve China's decades-long illegal occupation of Tibet. The Act also recognises that Tibetans have the right to self-determination and that the legal status of Tibet remains to be determined under international law.
Richard Gere, Chairman of ICT, Senators Jeff Merkley, D-Ore, and Todd Young, R-Ind, along with Representatives McGovern and McCaul held a press conference on March 28, 2023 regarding the Resolve Tibet Act and called for passage of the bipartisan bill in support of Tibetan freedom, the Tibetan people, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Over the past two days, Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters have met with many Senators and Representatives, old and new, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi and others, and urged them to support the Resolve Tibet Act.