By Sherab Lhatsang
Wisconsin State Assembly and State Senate took up Assembly Joint Resolution 86 (AJR 86), which honors the memory of more then one million Tibetans who have died in their struggle for the Independence of Tibet.
State Representative Joe Parisi, sponsor of AJR 86 addressed the Assembly floor by thanking the Speaker for scheduling the resolution on the floor in recognition of the people of Tibet. Representative Joe Parisi said, "Since 1959 over a million Tibetans have been killed. With the Chinese policy of resettlement of Chinese to Tibet, Tibetans have become a minority in their own country. Chinese is the official language. Compared to pre-1959 levels, only 1 in 20 monks are still allowed to practice, under the government's watch. Up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed. Famines have appeared for the first time in recorded history, natural resources are devastated, and wildlife depleted to extinction. Tibetan culture comes close to being eradicated there. Since 1967 Tibet has been used for nuclear testing, including tests to determine the radiation tolerance of the local population. 1 in 10 Tibetans have been held in prisons or forced labor camps for periods of 10 to!
20 years. Today, about 10,000 religious and political prisoners face torture, forced labor and execution. Pictures of H.H. the Dalai Lama is banned and if you are caught with one you will be sent to prison."
State Representative Spencer Black, a long time supporter of Tibet and one of the sponsors of the resolution also addressed the Assembly, "First let me thank Representative Joe Parisi for offering the resolution, and the majority leader for scheduling it. Mr. Speaker, I have many constituents who have come from Tibet or of Tibetan heritage. They have settled in our community and they have become our neighbors, co-workers, our friends and fellow citizens and now they are our fellow Americans. But today, we remember their courageous fight for freedom in their homeland. Their freedom, their ability to maintain their cultural identity to practice their religion freely has been stifled by the dictatorship in China. I would like to thank the members of this body for joining in that effort and recognizing their heroic effort and would like to welcome you all to the rally tomorrow afternoon outside the State Capitol "
The Assembly then unanimously adopted the resolution and messaged it over to the Wisconsin State Senate where majority leader, Senator Dale Schultz asked that AJR 86 be taken up on the floor. The Senate unanimously concurred with the Assembly on passage of AJR 86.