By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 19: The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bipartisan resolution recognising the cultural and religious significance of Tibet and seeking peaceful solution to the conflict through dialogue. It noted the significance of the genuine autonomy of Tibet and Tibetans, and recognised the work by the His Holiness the Dalai Lama on “global peace, harmony, and understanding.”
The resolution also determined that it would attempt to convene a bipartisan, bicameral forum through a Joint Meeting of Congress or a teleconference broadcast at the Capital Visitor Center or a roundtable between the Congress members and the Dalai Lama to discuss peaceful solutions to international conflicts. It affirmed an overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support for human rights and freedom of the 6 million Tibetans.
Congressman Ted Yoho who spearheaded this resolution in US Foreign Affairs Committee in Oct said, “Honoured to see the House unanimously passed my resolution recognising the genuine autonomy of Tibet and celebrating the work the Dalai Lama has accomplished. The US must continue to work with allies to secure freedom from oppression for the Tibetan people.” Chairman of the Committee Congressman Eliot Engel accused China for violating religious freedom in Tibet. He further remarked that the Chinese government systematically prevented US diplomats, officials, journalists and tourists to travel to Tibet Autonomous Region.
Another resolution was passed by the US House to condemn the acts by the PRC and the Government of the Hong Kong for violating fundamental rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents as well as acts that undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. Both the resolutions target Chinese authorities for its violation of human rights. US Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded the passing of the resolutions on Twitter, “Today, the House sent a strong message with the passage of resolutions calling for the end of China’s human rights abuses. The House on a bipartisan basis will always fight for freedom of religion & culture in Tibet and for the rule of law in Hong Kong.”
Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback reasserted that only Tibetan Buddhists can choose the next Dalai Lama, “[China has] no right to do that. They have no theological basis to do that. The Tibetan Buddhists have successfully picked their leader for hundreds of years, if not longer, and they have the right to do that now.” Diplomat Brownback visited Dharamshala and met with CTA officials, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in 2019.