With the death on March 26, 2003, of former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan at age 76, the Tibetan people lost a good and steadfast friend.
“Senator Moynihan was a great friend of the Tibetan people and during his tenure on the Foreign Relations Committee expressed his support for Tibet through numerous congressional acts,” said Mary Beth Markey, U.S. Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet.
Senator Moynihan was principally responsible for Section 355 of Public Law 102-22 that states, “Tibet, including those areas incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai, is an occupied country under the established principles of international law; and Tibet’s true representatives are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile, as recognized by the Tibetan people.”
Senator Moynihan spoke on the Senate floor on the occasion of the April 1991 visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Capitol saying, “The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949 was a conquest every bit as clear as the conquest of the Baltic States during World War II or Iraq’s invasion and temporary conquest of Kuwait. It does not become less criminal because it has remained in place over a long period of time.”
The Senator served in the administrations of four U.S. presidents, including as Ambassador to India, and spent four terms in the Senate representing New York.
The the Dalai Lama’s Representative in New York and the Tibetan community in Washington, D.C., as well as the staff of the International Campaign for Tibet attended the funeral ceremony, which took place on March 31, 2003.