Published By Tenzin Phende

WASHINGTON DC: Marking the first time ever that a national legislature has supported the Tibetan Buddhist community’s right to identify and install their religious leaders, the United States Senate unanimously passed S.Res.429, which calls any interference by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the religious process “invalid”. The resolution also commemorated the 59th anniversary of Tibet’s 1959 uprising as “Tibetan Rights Day”.

The resolution was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy on behalf of Senator Feinstein, Senator Cruz, and Senator Rubio, and the Senate passed the resolution on the auspicious occasion of Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s 29th birthday.

The resolution reiterated His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s declaration in 2011 that the responsibility for identifying a future 15th Dalai Lama rests solely with the officials of his private office; anyone recognised through illegitimate methods or for political reasons should not be accepted.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration expressed deep gratitude for the support of the US Senate. He remarked, “This resolution stands up for the Tibetan people’s inalienable rights and opposes any attempt by external actors, specifically the People’s Republic of China, to interfere in the reincarnation selection process. The unanimous support from the US Senate sends a powerful message to the international community and to China in particular. It sets a precedent for other nations to follow.”

In addition to affirming the US Senate’s support for the Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights and freedom, the resolution called on the US Ambassador to the PRC to meet with the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who was disappeared nearly 23 years ago along with his family.

This resolution in support of the Tibetan people and the Tibetan Buddhist faith community closely follows the decision of the US Congress to increase funding for Tibetans in Tibet and exile for the fiscal year 2018.

Click here to read the full text of S.Res.429

-Report filed by Office of Tibet Washington, DC-

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