Washington DC: The second day of President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr. Lobsang Sangay’s visit to DC was packed with meetings at the capitol hill, media interviews and other engagements.
In the morning, President Dr. Sangay gave an hour-long live interview at VOA studio, which was followed by in-depth discussions and interactions with scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity.
President Dr. Sangay later attended a meeting with the US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representative Jim McGovern, Representative Eliot Engel and Representative Joyce Beatty at the Leader’s office. The President presented eight-point fresh appeal to the lawmakers, which received sympathetic hearing and an affirmation to extend all support at their disposal.
At the Heritage Foundation, an influential think tank to the new US administration, President Sangay spoke on “One China Policy and Middle Way Approach of the Tibetan People”. Over fifty scholars and intellectuals attended the talk.
“China should grant genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese Constitution. If the Chinese government implement their own laws listed in the Constitution and minorities nationalities act, we could take that as genuine autonomy,” President Sangay said.
Reprimanding China’s groundless fear of the Dalai Lama, President Sangay said, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not an obstacle to the solution of Tibet. He is the solution. We do believe that the Tibetan cause would prevail.”
President Sangay described the grim political situation prevailing inside Tibet, which has led to 149 Tibetans to self-immolate in protest. “We all know the human rights condition in Syria and Tibet is ranked just above Syria according to Freedom House report. Reporters without Borders has a report which again stated that going to Tibet is more difficult than gaining access to North Korea. We all read headlines about North Korea but getting into Tibet is more difficult than getting into North Korea. This is the situation in Tibet.”
The president said the urgency of situation inside Tibet is further expressed by the discovery of Tibet as water tower of Asia and the Earth’s third pole. “Hence Tibet is not just an issue of six million Tibetans and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is a vital issue for Asia.”
He expounded on the environmental importance of Tibet as the maker of the Asian monsoon and as the retainer of the largest concentration of glaciers outside of the two Poles that feed the life-giving waters of the 10 major river systems that sustain millions downstream. He also said that the effects of global warming is more prominent in Tibet than in the south and north poles.
President Sangay in his op-ed piece, in The Hill, entitled President Trump, meet the Dalai Lama, mentioned that while President Trump has reached out to the adherents of the world’s interconnected and monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – he should also meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is an important Buddhist leader in the world and has throughout his life been a proponent of the highest ideals of Buddhism, including non-violence, compassion, equanimity and kindness. “Such a meeting would assist in bringing these principles to bear on issues of world peace and nonviolence”, he said.
“Each and every U.S. president since George H.W. Bush has met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Each of these presidents reported the meeting provided a fresh and unique view on political and spiritual issues that currently confront us as a global community. President Trump and His Holiness the Dalai Lama would certainly find much to discuss as we see the world torn by violence and conflict”, President Sangay said on his op-ed piece.
President Sangay told Reuters earlier this month that the Dalai Lama had planned to visit the United States in April but had delayed the trip until June because a hectic schedule had left him exhausted. He also said Washington was not part of the June itinerary.
“Donald Trump …has been to all three major sacred places of three major traditions. If he can meet with all leaders of major traditions, I think it’s just logical that he meet with the most prominent Buddhist leader”, he said.
The day-long program concluded with a dinner reception hosted by Capital Area Tibetan Association in honor of the President.