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USCIRF reports declining freedom of religion under Xi
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President of TWA Dolma Yangchen speaks at a candle light march organized by TWA, TYC and SFT for the latest Tibetan self immolator from Kardze, April 17,2017 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Tibetans participate in a candlelight vigil following news of the self immolation protest by a 24 yr old Tibetan named Pema Gyaltsen in Nyarong, Kham, on March 18, 2017. McLeod Ganj, March 19, 2017 Phayul Photo:Kunsang Gashon
His Holiness the Dalai Lama gazes at devotees as he visits the Mahabodhi temple near the Kalachakra venue, a day after the conclusion of 34th Kalachakra. Jan. 15, 2016 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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Politicians demand Bharat Ratna for the Dalai Lama
[Friday, December 09, 2016 17:28]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, DEC. 09: In two separate incidents that can be noted as positive developments for the Tibet issue and the Tibetans, politicians in India have urged the Indian government to bestow the highest civilian honor upon the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama while US Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner have written to President-elect Donald Trump to meet the Dalai Lama.

Veteran Kangra MP for BJP party Shanta Kumar who also chairs the ‘All party Parliamentary forum on Tibet’ has demanded the Bharat Ratna for the Dalai Lama for promoting peace and also for being a messenger of Indian values to the world since he arrived in India in 1959.

The ‘All party Parliamentary members' forum on Tibet’ too has passed a resolution to support the move. Congress leader and Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board vice-chairman Major Vijay Singh Mankotia also extended support saying, "I and countless others, the silent majority, fully endorse this demand and we hope the Prime Minister and the government of India will take morally correct step to honor this, perhaps, the greatest apostle of peace of modern times."

Meanwhile, continents away in the United States, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wrote to President-elect Donald Trump to meet with the octogenarian Tibetan leader. He wrote, “As you meet with various world leaders in preparation for assuming your role as President, I would like to take the opportunity to suggest that you meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

The US Congressman also wrote that the US should maintain the longstanding relationship with “Tibetans and government of Tibet” and acknowledge the Dalai Lama’s unwavering effort to find political solution with China.

Sensenbrenner further pointed to the oppressive policies Tibetans in Tibet are subjected to. "Over the years, the Tibetan people have undergone a constant struggle to free themselves from the Chinese government and to preserve these basic freedoms. However, the People’s Republic of China continues to refuse to acknowledge the autonomy of the Tibetan people, and have cracked down on protests and demonstrations by Tibetans,” he wrote.

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