By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, MAR 19: The 12th Annual Tibet Lobby Day scheduled to be held on Mar 23-24 will highlight a new Act on Tibet. Lobby efforts traditionally done at Capitol Hill will be done virtually as all government offices will be closed until April 1 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The new act – Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) – will strengthen US support for Tibet, and condemn China’s plans to appoint their own Dalai Lama. The act seeks to update the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 which addresses scores of issues including climate change, assistance to Tibetans, pushing for negotiations between China and Dalai Lama or Tibetan leaders.
Participants were urged to call upon their elected representatives and inform them of their support for Tibet. Coordinators of the Tibet Lobby day announced, “We will not have people coming to Washington DC, this year, but instead we are organizing a Special VIRTUAL Tibet Lobby Day on March 23 & 24 in which everyone who has registered can participate in the same meetings from your place of residence without coming to DC.”
Pro-Tibet advocacy group, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) which spearheads the special virtual lobby day for Tibet called for the senators to pass the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) in the Senate and make it into law.
On Tuesday, Senator Marco Rubio appealed to the public in an ICT video: “We must stand together to protect the Tibetan religion, language and culture both inside and outside Tibet. Last year, Sen. Ben Cardin and I introduced the TPSA to update US policy toward Tibet amid new challenges posed by the CCP.
“That bill passed in the House in January and is now being reviewed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which I am a member, and I look forward to ensuring the bill passes the Senate and heads to the President’s desk to become law. . . Support this very important piece of legislation!”