By Phurbu Thinley
The Vermont State House
Dharamsala, April 4: Condemning China’s continuing repression of the Tibetan people, the Vermont State Senate on Friday passed a resolution urging the US Congress to take forceful action to end the denial of human rights and to extend diplomatic recognition to Tibet.
The resolution No. 8
, sponsored by several State Senators, calls on the US Congress and the international community to treat the plight of the Tibetan people as an “urgent matter of the highest priority.”
The resolution further urges the US Congress to “recognize Tibetan political autonomy” and ask China “to sincerely negotiate with representatives of His Holiness the Dali Lama to solve the Tibet problem”.
Among others, the resolution emphasizes that the people of Tibet “lived in peace and harmony for centuries” and that the “army of the People’s Republic of China illegally invaded” the peaceful Himalayan region.
Having deprived of any right to self-determination, the resolution says that “it is now nearly impossible” for Tibetan people to continue their “distinctive cultural practices and religious observances.”
The resolution has also highlighted those Tibetans who were killed, and those who remain missing or are in prison in the aftermath of the China's brutal crackdown on Tibetans unrest since March 2008.
According to Tibetan Government-in-exile based in India, Chinese authorities' violent crackdown on Tibetan protesters left 220 Tibetans dead, 1,294 injured and 290 sentenced. More than 5,600 were arrested or detained and over 1,000 disappeared, it says.
The resolution directs the Secretary of the State Senate to “send a copy of the resolution to China’s Ambassador to the U.S, Office of the Representative of the Dalai Lama in New York City, Students for a Free Tibet, and the Vermont Congressional delegation.”
In a statement posted on its website
, the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet has welcomed the resolution.
“As the Chinese government steps up efforts to bully government bodies (South Africa, California Assembly) to scale back support for Tibet, this is a welcome move on the part of the State of Vermont,” the pro-independence group said.
In April last year, following China's crackdown on Tibetan unrest, Vermont State Senate passed a similar resolution
condemning the "barbarous acts of the government of the People's Republic of China” in Tibet.