Washington, DC, 13 March: Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today to mark the 53rd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day – the date of Tibetans’ peaceful uprising against harsh Chinese rule and the ensuing crackdown by Chinese authorities that devastated the Tibetan people and forced His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile:
“On Tibetan Uprising Day, we honor the many brave Tibetans who have lost their lives fighting for their religious freedom and human rights. We rededicate ourselves to the liberty and fundamental dignity for the Tibetan people – to economic and political empowerment for all Tibetans, and a future of stability and democracy for Tibet.
“With the Chinese military presence growing in recent months and more desperate Tibetans subjecting themselves to self-immolations, the need for action, for a substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama, for an end to violence and a commitment to peace, is as urgent as ever.
“On this anniversary, we call on the Chinese government to cease its religious repression, allow access to the region by journalists and international observers, and release Tibetan political prisoners, including the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima who was kidnapped as a young boy.
“The cause of Tibet continues to be a challenge to the conscience of the world. We must heed the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and we must not forget the people of Tibet and their ongoing struggle.”