By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, December 15: US Congressman Jim McGovern yesterday in his address before the US House of Representatives called on the Chinese authorities to reaffirm the right of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to return to his homeland.
Speaking under the subject ‘Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama Go Home’, McGovern said, “I call on China to follow a different path. I call on the Chinese authorities to affirm the right of the 14th Dalai Lama to return to his homeland, whether to visit or to stay.”
He added, “I call on them to welcome him home, afford him the respect he deserves as a man of peace, and sit down with him to resolve Tibetan grievances so as to prevent the deepening of tensions and eruption of conflict.”
The US lawmaker believes that if China were to take such step, it would garner positive reaction from the international community and assured that he would be the first to ‘recognize and congratulate’ China.
He also urged his fellow colleagues to join him in calling on the ‘Chinese authorities to allow the Dalai Lama to return to his homeland’ and to give him the ability to go back to his home where he was born.
“This is the time for bold action and I urge my colleagues to speak out along with me in urging the Chinese Government to do the right thing – now is the time to raise our voices, now before it’s too late,” he said.
The Congressman who was part of the delegation to Lhasa in 2015 reminded that the 82-year-old spiritual leader has been in exile for around 60 years and is a man renowned all over the world for his commitment to peace.
Reminding the Chinese authorities of His Holiness’s Middle Way Approach, which seeks Tibetan autonomy within China, the 58-year-old Congressman said that China must restart the dialogue and take advantage of the opportunity to achieve a peaceful resolution.
“Instead, Chinese authorities continue to view the Dalai Lama with suspicion, disparage him, and accuse him of formenting separatism,” he said, “They seem to believe that with his eventual, inevitable death, they will be assured of consolidating their hold on Tibet. I would not be so sure.
“For the Chinese, there is still time to recognize that inclusion and respect for the human rights of Tibetans offer the best path to security,” he said.