August 3, 2015
Letters to the Editor
3600 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
Re: Tibet & China at the Same Washington Lobbyist (Maura Moynihan. July 10, 2015)
We were dismayed to see The Washington Times providing Maura Moynihan a platform to perpetuate the false allegations that she has been leveling against the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Tibetan leadership since the 2011 Tibetan elections on various social media sites.
The writer’s allegation and your paper’s sensational headline are inaccurate. The role of Sconset Strategies was limited to facilitating a couple of meetings on Capitol Hill in July 2011 and this service was provided pro-bono. Beyond this fleeting interaction, neither the Office of Tibet nor anyone in the CTA leadership have since had any further dealings with anyone at Sconset Strategies. We disagree with the lobbying firm’s decision to list us a “client” on their website.
Discussion on relocating the Office of Tibet to Washington, DC has come up under past Tibetan leadership over the last few decades, and it was under the current 14th Kashag (Executive Cabinet of CTA) that a plan for relocation and its smooth execution became possible in April 2014. The related issue of source of funding for the purchase of the office building in Washington, DC has already been addressed by the Kashag at the session of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and by the Office of Tibet at various community meetings in North America.
The writer while attacking the Tibetan leadership for working with a particular lobbyist also complains that the Office of Tibet isn’t doing enough lobbying. Maura Moynihan, despite some association with the Tibet issue, reveals a fundamental lack of understanding of how we do outreach work on Tibet in Washington, DC. We cannot and will not attempt to compete with China’s multimillion-dollar lobbying effort in Washington by hiring the services of top K-Street lobbyists. The appeal of Tibet and the support we receive has always been for four primary reasons: truth is on our side, underdogs can win, our non-violent approach which has won the goodwill of many, and we have His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama as our leader. Our struggle has never been and will never be determined by how much money we can spend on lobbying.
Since the relocation of the Office of Tibet; we have been able to enhance the profile of the Central Tibetan Administration in Washington, DC; sustain the support in Congress through various bills, resolutions and hearings; and double the United States government funding to Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal. These efforts have been appreciated and acknowledged by most Tibetans.
The Tibetan leadership is committed to resolving the Tibet issue through its Middle Way Approach (MWA) policy. For those who attack the current Tibetan leadership of “embracing Chinese Communist rule” and compromising on Tibetan democracy and defense, they should read more carefully the Note on the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People presented by the Tibetan delegation during the 9th round of talks with representatives of the Chinese government in 2010. The Note clearly describes how a genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people would operate within the framework of the People’s Republic of China and accepts the ‘three adherences’ as stipulated by the Chinese Central Government: the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party; socialism with Chinese characteristics; and the Regional National Autonomy system. Therefore, statements made by the current Tibetan leadership are consistent with the MWA policy.
Dr. Lobsang Sangay as an academic at Harvard visited China in 2005 and this was addressed and clarified by none other than the Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche during the last election in 2011. The Sikyong has already addressed at the sessions of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile the issue of his mortgage payment. The Sikyong and his wife after living and working in the United States for sixteen years finally purchased a modest home for $365,000 in a working class neighborhood on the outskirts of Boston. There are many other Tibetan families in the United States who have purchased and paid off their mortgage on even more expensive homes within that same time period or shorter. It is perplexing why Maura Moynihan continues to dredge up these old non-issues.
Office of Tibet
1228 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036. USA
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