Speaker Pelosi introduces resolution on Tibet
ICT[Friday, April 04, 2008 21:07]
Speaker Pelosi, with the members of a bipartisan congressional delegation that met on March 21 in Dharamsala with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, introduced House Resolution 1077 on April 3 evening which calls on China to cease the crackdown, release protestors, provide unfettered access to journalists and independent international monitors to Tibet, and engage in a results-based dialogue with the Dalai Lama. The resolution also cites the Tibetan Policy Act which calls for an official US government presence in Lhasa. The Speaker's introduction and full text of the resolution is attached.

Mary Beth Markey, ICT Vice President for International Advocacy, who accompanied the congressional delegation in Dharamsala, had the following comment: "Of course, there is great concern in the Congress about the crisis in Tibet. Since their return from break this week, we have seen already the circulation of several legislative initiatives and joint letters to both Presidents Hu and Bush, briefings with the Dalai Lama’s envoy and closed discussions with Chinese officials. As the leader and, in my view, the most experienced and knowledgeable China-watcher in Congress, it is no surprise that Speaker Pelosi's resolution takes on the key issues and is the first out of the box. We thank the Speaker and Representatives Sensenbrenner, Markey, Miller, McDermott, Eshoo, Inslee, Solis, Norton and Holt and look forward to prompt passage."

HOUSE RESOLUTION 1077

Calling on the Government of the People's Republic of China to end its crackdown in Tibet and enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a negotiated solution that respects the distinctive language, culture, religious identity, and fundamental freedoms of all Tibetans, and for other purposes. Whereas March 10, 2008, marked the 49th anniversary of a historic uprising against Chinese rule over the Tibetan people, which forced His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, to escape into exile in India;

Whereas Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in and around Lhasa were blocked by Chinese authorities from staging peaceful demonstrations on this anniversary date and were met with excessive force by the Chinese authorities;

Whereas protests by Tibetans spread inside the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas of China;

Whereas the accumulated grievances of almost six decades of cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression of the Tibetan people by the Government of the People's Republic of China has resulted in resentments which are at the root of the Tibetan protests;

Whereas resentment of the Chinese Government by the Tibetan people has increased sharply since 2005 as a result of Chinese policies, laws, and regulations that have reduced economic opportunity for Tibetans and severely eroded the ability of Tibetans to preserve their distinctive language, culture, and religious identity;

Whereas the response by the Chinese Government to the Tibetan protests was disproportionate and extreme, reportedly resulting in the deaths of hundreds and the detention of thousands of Tibetans;

Whereas there have been reports that some Tibetans engaged in rioting that may have resulted in the destruction of government and private property, as well as the deaths of civilians;

Whereas His Holiness the Dalai Lama has used his leadership to promote democracy, freedom, and peace for the Tibetan people through a negotiated settlement of the Tibet issue, based on autonomy within the context of China;

Whereas six rounds of dialogue between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials have not resulted in meaningful progress;

Whereas the Chinese Government has rebuffed calls by the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and world leaders to respond positively to the Dalai Lama's willingness to be personally involved in discussions with Chinese leaders on the future of Tibet;

Whereas the Chinese Government has denigrated the Dalai Lama, labeling him as "a splittist" and "a wolf in monk's robes", thereby further alienating Tibetans who consider the Dalai Lama their spiritual leader;

Whereas the Dalai Lama was recognized for his contribution to world peace when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989;

Whereas the United States Congress, in recognition of the Dalai Lama's outstanding moral and religious leadership and his advocacy of nonviolence, awarded him with the Congressional Gold Medal on October 17, 2007;

Whereas the Chinese Government has failed to honor its commitment to improve the human rights situation in China as a condition for Beijing being selected as the site for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games;

Whereas the Chinese Government has impeded the access of international journalists to Tibetan areas of China and distorted reports of events surrounding the Tibetan protests, thereby violating the commitment it made that "there will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games";

Whereas for many years, the Chinese Government has restricted the ability of foreign journalists and foreign government officials, including United States Government officials, to freely travel in Tibetan areas of China, thereby curtailing access to information on the situation in Tibetan areas;

Whereas the Chinese Government's use of propaganda during the protests to demonize Tibetans and incite ethnic nationalism is exacerbating ethnic tensions and is counterproductive to resolving the situation;

Whereas the United States Department of State included the People's Republic of China among the group of countries described as "the most systematic violators of human rights" in the introduction of the 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and in previous Human Rights Reports, but did not do so in the 2007 Human Rights Report, despite no evidence of significant improvements in the human rights situation in China in the past year; and

Whereas it is the policy of the United States "to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity" and "to support economic development, cultural preservation, health care, and education and environmental sustainability for Tibetans inside Tibet", in accordance with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6901 note): Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives-

(1) calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to end its crackdown on nonviolent Tibetan protestors and its continuing cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression inside Tibet;

(2) calls on the Chinese Government to begin a results-based dialogue, without preconditions, directly with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people and provide for a long-term solution that respects the human rights and dignity of every Tibetan;

(3) calls on the Chinese Government to allow independent international monitors and journalists, free and unfettered access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and all other Tibetan areas of China for the purpose of monitoring and documenting events surrounding the Tibetan protests and to verify that individuals injured receive adequate medical care;

(4) calls on the Chinese Government to immediately release all Tibetans who are imprisoned for nonviolently expressing opposition to Chinese Government policies in Tibet;

(5) calls on the United States Department of State to publicly issue a statement reconsidering its decision not to include the People's Republic of China among the group of countries described as "the world's most systematic human rights violators" in the introduction of the 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices; and

(6) calls on the United States Department of State to fully implement the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (22 U.S.C. 6901 note), including the stipulation that the Secretary of State "seek to establish an office in Lhasa, Tibet to monitor political, economic and cultural developments in Tibet", and also to provide consular protection and citizen services in emergencies, and further urges that the agreement to permit China to open further diplomatic missions in the United States should be contingent upon the establishment of a United States Government office in Lhasa.

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