News and Views on Tibet

Exile Tibetan leadership congratulates President Biden, VP Harris

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US President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris bump fists on the inauguration day at the White House on Wednesday (Photo- Reuters)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 21: The exile Tibetan leadership congratulated the 46th US President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on his inauguration at the White House on Wednesday. His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to Joe Biden on his first day in administration, “I take this opportunity to express our gratitude for your long-standing support for the Tibetan people. It has been our good fortune to have enjoyed the friendship and encouragement of the American people and their leaders in our endeavour to protect and preserve our ancient Buddhist culture, a culture of peace, non-violence and compassion.”

The Nobel Laureate also lauded Biden’s start of the presidency by rejoining the Paris Accord, “I am so pleased that you are elevating the issue of climate change to your highest priority and that the United States is rejoining the Paris Climate Accord. Global warming is an urgent threat to the whole world and to the survival of our species.”

The President of the Tibetan government-in-exile, also known as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Dr. Lobsang Sangay urged the US government to continue its support for Tibet, “For decades now, the US has supported the Tibet cause on various fronts, and we are always grateful to the US and its people. However, today the concern no longer remains only for the Tibetan people; instead, today the concern is for the global democracy and the universal ideals that have come under threat from an authoritarian regime such as China.”

CTA President also lauded Vice-President Kamala Harris for becoming the first woman to reside in the second-highest office of the US administration. “As you work towards the imminent challenges of restoring human rights, equality and climate change around the world, we hope that you will lend your pivotal voice to the just cause of Tibet and further strengthen decades-long US-Tibet ties,” he further remarked.

The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE), Pema Jungney hoped to see the implementation of the TPSA which was signed into law by President Trump in late Dec, “The people and the government of the United States have consistently supported the Tibetans and non-violent struggle of Tibet and for which we Tibetans all over the world will always be eternally grateful. On the recent passage of the Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020, we are positive that it will be applied, implemented and followed effectively under your leadership.” He further noted President Biden’s statement in Sept. last year which committed to sanctioning Chinese leadership responsible for human rights violations in Tibet.

The exile Tibetan community has expressed hopes for the new US leadership with regards to its support for Tibet. The former Vice-President Joe Biden spoke strongly last year when he said he will meet with the Dalai Lama and promised his administration will not “turn a blind eye” like President Trump and instead “stand up for the Tibetan people”.

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