By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, March 30: The 15th Annual Tibet Lobby Day coordinated by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and joined by Office of Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet and other Tibetan Associations on March 27-28 at Capitol Hill called for initiatives to resolve the Tibet-China conflict. Hollywood actor Richard Gere, the Chair of ICT joined a bipartisan and bicameral group including two members each from the Congress and the Senate to announce the reintroduction of the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, known also as the Resolve Tibet Act (RTA).
The bill will pressure the Chinese government to resume negotiations with the Dalai Lama’s envoys to settle the decades-old conflict caused by China’s illegal occupation of Tibet and the ongoing brutal oppression of the Tibetan people.
Gere, who appeared alongside Representative Jim McGovern at a press conference outside the US Capitol Hill stated, “We believe in our country that every person has the freedom to determine their future and that freedom has been denied to the people of Tibet, and we must restore that freedom.” “We must bring our government power to bring the Tibetans and the PRC authorities together so they can have that dialogue that has been silenced for 13 years. We have to pass the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, and pass it now,” he added. He also slammed the CCP’s attempts to indoctrinate Tibetan children by sending them to boarding schools and stopping them from speaking their own language.
“The situation in Tibet is dire and must not be ignored. Fortunately, Congress has the power to lead again in pressing China to resume dialogue by passing the Resolve Tibet Act which will help fulfill the Tibetan cause for human rights and justice,” said Franz Matzner, ICT’s Director of government relations.
An initiative like Tibet Lobby Day in the recent years has drawn a strong response from the Tibetan American community and Tibet supporters, and is seen as an opportunity to send a strong messages to the political leadership in Congress. Tibet Lobby Day has also played a crucial role in successfully advancing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020.