Top Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi, who met the Dalai Lama, has affirmed US’ commitment to the Tibetan people, their faith, culture and language. Pelosi along with a bipartisan delegation met the 81-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader yesterday in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. “Our delegation came in His Holiness’ spirit of faith and peace, and we’re pleased to once again affirm our commitment to the Tibetan people, to their faith, their culture and their language,” she said. In a separate statement, Pelosi reiterated her commitment to the Tibetan cause. “We were warmly welcomed by hundreds of children today during a visit to the Tibet Children’s Village, a remarkable and inspiring school dedicated to educating the next generation of Tibetans living in Dharamshala,” the 77-year-old Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives said.
The delegation met the Tibetan Government in exile, Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay and members of Tibetan Parliamentarians to discuss the US and international support for efforts designed to help Tibetans maintain their religion, culture, identity and to ensure their human rights are protected. Congressman Jim McGovern, who also met the Dalai Lama, in a statement said, “It is long past time for the US to rethink our policy towards Tibet. For years, China has faced no consequences for its failure to respect the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people. This must change.”
McGovern, who is a senior House Democrat, Co-Chair of Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and a leading voice in America calling for new policies to strengthen human rights in Tibet, said he is especially worried about situation of the Tibetan people. “I am deeply troubled by the reports I receive from inside Tibet of human rights abuses and affronts to basic human dignity — like the demolition of buildings and forced eviction of religious people from the famous Buddhist institute at Larung Gar, and the severe restrictions on the rights of Tibetans to freely meet, speak, write and worship as they choose,” McGovern said.
McGovern said that he is equally concerned about the obstacles Tibetans face when they travel within China or to neighbouring countries. He said in his meetings with the Dalai Lama and Nepalese leaders, he had made clear that he will continue to push for the US to hold China accountable for their human rights abuses.
“We must not ignore their continued assault on the freedom of the Tibetan people. Time may be running out for the people of Tibet. All those who say they believe in the rights of the Tibetans must move beyond words to concrete actions,” he said. Other members of the delegation are Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel, Betty McCollum Judy Chu and Joyce Beatty.