Resolution Honors His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel (NY), the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Matt Salmon (AZ), Chairman of the Asia Pacific Subcommittee, along with co-Chairmen of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Representatives Joseph Pitts (PA) and James McGovern (MA), today announced that they have introduced a measure calling for meaningful dialogue and a negotiated settlement for the people of Tibet (H.Res. 337). The resolution also acknowledges the contributions of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in advance of his 80th birthday, including his tireless efforts to promote, through peaceful means, genuine autonomy for the people of Tibet.

“Throughout his life, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, has championed greater understanding, harmony, and respect among all religious faiths. As the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people, he has been a model for all of us on the importance of preserving the cultural, religious, historical, and linguistic heritage—not just for the Tibetan people but for all people. His Holiness has done outstanding work to safeguard the environment in the Tibetan plateau, to promote democracy among the Tibetan people, and to champion non-violent conflict resolution,” said Rep. Engel. “This resolution reaffirms the unwavering friendship between the Tibetan people and the United States, and I'm proud to offer it along with Representatives Salmon, Pitts and McGovern.”

Representative Salmon added, “I had the pleasure of meeting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 1999, and have always been amazed by his tireless promotion of human rights and religious freedom on behalf of the Tibetan people. The Dalai Lama’s leadership has been central to preserving Tibetan culture and heritage worldwide, despite continued and escalating restrictions on Tibetan religious practices and linguistic heritage. I am pleased to be introducing this resolution with Rep. Engel, and hope that it will spur renewed interest between the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama to hold substantive discussions about Tibet and the Tibetan people.”

Representative Pitts said, “The Dalai Lama has spoken eloquently about the genuine threat of extinction to his culture and to his people after half a century's oppression by communist China. All Americans should support freedom and autonomy for the Tibetan people, who, though they respect human rights, are denied their inalienable rights by an occupying power. I am pleased to support this resolution, and, as co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the upholding of the inherent dignity and rights of all.”

“Open and free societies are essential to supporting and strengthening human rights around the world and the United States must be a leader in promoting these values,” Rep. McGovern said. “His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been a true champion of these goals and a powerful voice in advancing the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people. As co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, I had the pleasure to meet His Holiness in 2009 and am proud to join my colleagues in supporting this bipartisan resolution. As a strong partner and advocate for the promotion of democracy and a free society in Tibet, the United States has a unique role to play and this resolution will help to bring a spotlight to this important issue.”

In addition to underscoring the close ties between the American and Tibetan people, the resolution also calls on the government of the United States to uphold its commitment to preserving the human rights, political and religious freedom of the people of Tibet. Additionally, it calls on the People’s Republic of China to enter into meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama and his representatives, without any preconditions, in order to produce negotiated settlement for the Tibetan people.


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