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US-Tibet-TPiE-Speaker-Khenpo-Sonam-Tenphel-2017Dharamshala — The high-level bipartisan US Congressional delegation visiting Dharamshala will mark "an important moment in history of Tibet", said Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Speaker of the the Tibetan Parliament in-Exile.

"First of all, I, on behalf of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and all the Tibetans around the world, would like to extend a very warm welcome to the Democratic Leader and the former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mrs Nancy Pelosi and all the Parliamentary dignitaries from the United States of America. Thank you all for joining us here today!"

"You all have been staunch supporters of the Tibetan cause and I am sure this gathering will mark an important moment in the history of Tibet. It will also send a strong message to the Chinese Government that Tibetans are never alone," Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile said during the public felicitation for the high level US Congressional delegation's visit to Dharamshala at Tsuglagkhang.

"As we all are aware, the situation inside Tibet is deteriorating day by day. The self-immolations of Tibetans and the demolition of monastic institutions continues in Tibet. There is no improvement in the overall human right situation under the hardline policies of the Chinese Leadership," the Speaker said.

The Speaker pointed out that the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet have not improved. The Speaker said: "The right to religious freedom continues to be ignored and even violated in Tibet. The Chinese government is still violating religious freedom in Tibet. The restriction on the practice of Buddhism is akin to the restriction on Tibetan culture. Such restrictions were also imposed on the Tibetan language, which is the ultimate identity of Tibetans as a nationality."

"The relentless promotion of Mandarin under the People's Republic of China has seized the space of minority languages.We fear that such restrictions along with cultural assimilation would lead Tibetans to become alienated from our own language," he said, adding: "Along with various atrocities, Tibetan inside Tibet is facing numerous social discrimination, travel restriction and much more."

"Tibet's rich and delicate environment with its global significance also lay waste and exploited in the hands of China's propensity towards its global influence and economic growth. Ultimately, the management of Tibet's rich water resources and environment will have a long-term impact on the Asian countries," he stressed.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama has relentlessly pursued a mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy, which is a pragmatic course to resolve the issue of Tibet peacefully. This approach meets the vital needs of the Tibetan people while ensuring the unity and stability of the People's Republic of China. We need your kind support to encourage the Chinese authorities to resume dialogue between the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government."

Speaker Khenpo Tenphel also praised the US goverment and the government of India. "U.S. Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 was indeed a great political and a historical accomplishment for the Tibetan people. Similarly, India has been a gracious host to all the Tibetans in exile over the decades," he said.

"I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude for your continued support to the cause of Tibet. It is your support that encourages the Tibetan movement and gives hope, especially to the Tibetans inside Tibet," he he pleads, saying: "We remain indebted to your unwavering support."

The Tibetan Parliament Speaker concluded by thanking all of the US delegates for sparing their precious time to gather here in Dharamshala. "I believe, with your support, the truthful cause of Tibet shall prevail."

Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 million Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".