Dharamshala: One of the strongest voices for the Tibetan cause, US Congressman and Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Chairman Jim McGovern issued the following statement in observance of the 62nd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day. Congressman McGovern introduced both the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act and was pivotal in the passage of the landmark legislation.
“Sixty years that the Chinese government’s devastating crackdown, Tibetans in China are still struggling to exercise their basic human rights, to speak and teach their language, protect their culture, control their land and water, travel within and outside their country, and practise their religion as they choose. Access to Tibet remains highly controlled. As a result, human rights abuses and environmental degradation are concealed from the world.
“It has now been 25 years since the 11th Panchen Lama has been abducted and forcibly detained, making him one of the world’s longest detained prisoners of conscience. The Chinese government maintains its absurd claim that it has the sole authority to control the next reincarnation in clear violation of the religious freedom of the Tibetan Buddhist community. Make no mistake; the Chinese government is engaged in a systematic effort to eliminate the distinct religious, linguistic and cultural identity of Tibetan people.
“Now that Congress has passed both the Tibetan Policy and Support Act and the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, it is our responsibility to ensure that the Biden administration effectively implements these bills. We expect that a high-level State Department Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues will soon be named. The Tibetan Policy and Support Act strengthens that position in many ways, including a mandate to work multilaterally in our protection of the environment and water resources of the Tibetan plateau. The Administration must make it clear that the Chinese officials who interfere in the succession or reincarnation process will be subjected to targeted sanctions including those contained in the Global Magnitsky Act. No new Chinese consulates should be established in the United States until a US consulate is established in Tibet.
“And Last, it is my hope that when it is safe to do so, that His Holiness will have an opportunity to return to US and meet with President Biden and Vice President Harris. On this important day, we must continue to heed to guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his message of peace. We must remember the people of Tibet and their ongoing struggle. We must continue to reaffirm America’s commitment to the idea that human rights matter. That we care about those who are oppressed and we stand for those who sterling fo freedom and I am proud to continue to stand with the Tibetan people in their struggle.”