Dr Lobsang Sangay, President (Sikyong) of the Central Tibetan Administration previously known as the Government of Tibet. Photo: TPI/Yeshe Choesang

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Washington DC —The President of the Central Tibetan Administration on Monday thanked US President Donald Trump for signing the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 into law, a move that dramatically strengthened US policy on Tibet and reaffirmed the US government’s steadfast support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

The Central Tibetan Administration previously known as the Government of Tibet and the U.S. share the fundamental values of freedom and democracy, said, that the government will continue working with the US government to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Welcoming the historic legislation on Sunday, CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay said, “This legislation sends a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet and bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before.”

“On behalf of the CTA and six million Tibetans, I extend the deepest gratitude to President Trump for signing the profoundly historic bill. I would also like to thank once again the US Congress for passing the bill, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her steadfast support in making this historic bill come true. I also thank the bill sponsors Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin; and Congressmen Jim McGovern and Chris Smith for introducing them in the House and Senate. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this a reality.”

In a video message this morning to Tibetans around the world, the Tibetan President Dr Sangay attributed the landmark legislation to the tireless efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the courage and resilience of six million Tibetans inside Tibet, and the collective efforts of Tibetans and friends around the world.

“As we proudly celebrate this momentous milestone, I express my deepest gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his blessings, the elders for paving the way, and the Tibetans inside Tibet for their sacrifice and determination,” Dr Sangay said.

Built on the historic Tibet Policy Act of 2002, the TPSA makes it official United States policy that decisions regarding the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama are exclusively within the authority of the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders, and the Tibetan people. Any interference by Chinese government officials will be met with serious sanctions and be deemed inadmissible into the United States.

Over the past 70 decades, there has been ongoing political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation, particularly due to Chinese migration to Tibet which is fueling intense resentment among the people of occupied Tibet.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse — a unifying theme among the Tibetans — as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.