By Tenzin Dharpo
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay at the second edition of the 5-50 Youth Forum in Dharamshala. photo- tibet.net
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 19: The exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration will lobby to pass a revised and updated version of the Tibet Policy Act that was passed into law in the United States in 2002, Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the President of the CTA said on Sunday.
Sangay who was responding to public query at the CTA organized 5-50 Youth Forum here at the seat of the exile Tibetan government said that his administration will push and lobby for a revised and updated version of the first significant legislation passed by the United States on Tibet.
He said, “The Tibet Policy Act. was passed in 2002. Now we are revising it, update it and we will have a lot of new provisions, including on reincarnation (of and including H.H the Dalai Lama), CTA, democracy and other issues. It will be a comprehensive one. So we will lobby it at the US government and pass it into law.”
The move, the head of the Tibetan polity said, was part of the larger initiative to “reorient and reorganize” the Tibetan movement and its structure in view of the changing dynamics such as the shifting base of the demography of the exile Tibetan population, global geo-political changes from the Tibetan perspective, in order to strengthen the Tibetan struggle in the years to come.
The United States has passed two significant legislations on Tibet till date. The Tibet Policy Act of 2002, which among other matters requires the appointment of a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, whose “central objective is to promote substantive dialogue between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama or his representatives”, and the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 which calls for the American government to limit access for Chinese authorities who bar U.S. diplomats, journalists, and tourists to Tibet.
However, pro-Tibet advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet in June 2019 said in one of its reports that the current US administration under President Trump has showed little intent in implementing the legislations. During the Trump Administration, there have been at least four summit meetings between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his successor Mike Pompeo have also met their Chinese counterparts many times. Washington D C based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said it has no confirmation that dialogue on Tibet was raised during those meetings.
ICT’s report highlights remarks that Vice President Pence and Pompeo made about the human rights of Tibetans, but those were not about negotiations with the Dalai Lama. “While engaging and confronting the Chinese government on many fronts, the Trump Administration has not yet raised at senior levels the issue of Tibet and the need to find a political solution through dialogue with the Dalai Lama,” ICT President Matteo Mecacci said.