US Government Reaffirms Support for Constructive Dialogue on Tibet Issue
[Sunday, 5 June 2011, 9:25 a.m.]
DHARAMSHALA: The US government has reaffirmed its policy to promote a
substantive dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama or his
representatives, and to help sustain Tibet’s unique religious, linguistic, and
Testify on religious freedom, democracy and human rights as embodied in the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Dr Daniel B. Baer, told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday that the US government is aggressively implementing the provisions of the Act.
“Our goals – to promote a substantive dialogue between the Chinese Government
and the representatives of the Dalai Lama, and to help sustain Tibet’s unique
religious, linguistic and cultural heritages – are designed to further the
intent of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and create a more stable and more
prosperous Tibet where Chinese authorities recognise and foster internationally
recognised human rights,” Dr Baer said.
He expressed regret that the Chinese government has not engaged in
a substantive dialogue with the Tibetan since January 2010 despite the US
government’s efforts to engage Beijing in dialogue with the Tibetans who are
not seeking independence but genuine autonomy to preserve Tibet’s unique
culture, religion and its fragile environment.
“The US government believes that the Dalai Lama can be a constructive
partner for China as it deals with the challenge of overcoming continuing
tensions in Tibetan areas. The Dalai Lama’s views are widely reflected within
Tibetan society, and command the respect of the vast majority of Tibetans. His
consistent advocacy of non-violence is an important factor in reaching an
eventual lasting solution, he said.
“China’s engagement with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to
resolve problems facing Tibetans is in the interests of the Chinese government
and the Tibetan people. We believe failure to address these problems could lead
to greater tensions inside China and could be an impediment to China’s social
and economic development.
Dr Baer expressed deep concern about deteriorating human rights situation
in China and in particular in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan
areas. “Recent regulations restricting Tibetan language education, strict
controls over the practice of Tibetan Buddhism and the arrests of prominent
non-political Tibetans reflect the difficult human rights situation there
today,” he said.
He said the Chinese government’s discriminatory religious policies in
Tibet, which includes forcing monks and nuns to denounce the Dalai Lama in regular
“patriotic education” exacerbate resentments of Tibetans and cause tensions in
He reiterated that US administration’s engagement on human rights issues
in Tibet is high level and consistent.
“We continue to press the Chinese government to answer our request, while
we reiterate our long-standing interest in regular and comprehensive access to
Tibetan areas for international diplomats, journalists and non-governmental
organizations, Dr Baer said.
said the US government will initiate a two-year programme to support
the development of organic agriculture for selected Tibetan settlements
in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. “USAID anticipates the programme will
result in increased economic opportunities which will encourage youth
to remain in the settlements, strengthen community ties, and preserve
cultural and linguistic traditions,” he added.