Washington D.C: The first town hall meeting of its kind was held by the Chair of Congressional-Executive Committee on China (CECC) Congressmen Jim McGovern and Tom Suozzi in New York on 20 July 2019. The meeting was hosted by the Tibetan community of NY & NJ at the new Community Center.
Representative Ngodup Tsering attended along with Matteo Mecacci, President of International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), and CECC staffers. Tenzin Dorjee moderated the meeting.
About 300 Tibetans attended the hearing. The meeting began with a welcome address by the President of the Tibetan Association followed by a few remarks from both of the Congressmen. Congressman McGovern informed about the commission’s plan to update the 2002 Tibet Policy Act with provisions for the elevation of the CTA status and Reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai lama.
Congressman Tom Suozzi and Chair McGovern, while supporting fully the plans of the Commission, assured to help bring the survivors of religious persecution in the next year’s prestigious National Prayer breakfast. He promised that there will be representation from the Tibetan community.
More than a dozen Tibetans raised concerns from travel restrictions to espionage in the diaspora Tibetan community, and they expressed the need for increased recognition of the CTA.
The members also raised several issues affecting Tibetan diaspora and also brought the issue of debt of the Community center building. In short, during the 2-hour-long meeting, the Congressmen both listened to the community attentively and provided explanations where ever necessary.
“It was most fulfilling, rewarding and inspiring,” said Representative Tsering at the end of the meeting, while thanking the Commission members and staffers.
The President of the Tibetan Association offered scarves to the Congressmen and staffers as a gesture of their appreciation and gratitude.