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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

72 U.S. lawmakers call on President Obama to make Tibet a priority

August 22, 2016

Office of Congressman Jim McGovern, August 18, 2016 - This week Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) led a group of 72 House lawmakers in a letter calling on President Obama to make Tibet a priority in his final months in office. Congressman McGovern has been a leading voice in Congress pushing for the United States to do more to support reforms that would strengthen human rights in Tibet. In November 2015, Congressman McGovern joined Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers on a trip to China and Tibet to urge Chinese leaders to enact reforms to increase the freedom and autonomy of the Tibetan people.

“We write to ask that you redouble efforts in support of the Tibetan people during your remaining months in office. We believe it is critically important to move beyond words to actions,” McGovern and House lawmakers wrote in the letter to President Obama. “The Tibetan people view the United States as their friend. It is time to honor that friendship with new, creative strategies to encourage meaningful dialogue, protect Tibetan rights, and preserve their unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity.” 

In the letter to President Obama, Congressman McGovern and House lawmakers call for:

  • U.S. government officials to invite the Dalai Lama to every event, on every occasion, where his knowledge and decades of reflections would be helpful for addressing the world’s problems.
  • U.S. government officials to facilitate the involvement of the Dalai Lama or his representatives in the global debate on climate change and its potential consequences given Tibet’s fragile environment, rapid warming, and critically important reserves of freshwater.
  • The establishment of a U.S. consular office in Lhasa, Tibet to help the U.S. observe and address the obstacles to freedom of movement that affect both Tibetans within China, and U.S. citizens, including Tibetan-Americans, who seek to travel to Tibetan areas of China.
  • The U.S. government to publicly support the right of the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet
  • President Obama to publically and regularly call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Tibetan political prisoners held by the People’s Republic of China whose cases have been documented by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
  • Enforcement of norms of reciprocity to ensure that senior Chinese officials responsible for restricting the access of U.S. officials, journalists, Tibetan-Americans and other citizens to Tibetan areas of China are themselves restricted in their travel when they are in the United States.

The full letter can be read here:


Joining Congressman McGovern on the letter to President Obama were Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Tim Walz (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Richard Neal (D-MA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), David Cicilline (D-RI), Peter Welch (D-VT), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), John Garamendi (D-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), William Keating (D-MA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Nydia Velazquex (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Gene Green (D-TX), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Pedro Pierluisi (D-P.R.), Mark Takano (D-CA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Andre Carson (D-IN), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Sam Farr (D-CA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), John Yarmuth (D-KY), John Lewis (D-GA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Mark Desaulnier (CA), Jerry McNerney (CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Donald Beyer (D-VA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Keith Ellison (D-MN), John Larson (D-CT), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

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