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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Wisconsin State Legislature declares March 10, 2009 as Tibet Day

March 8, 2009

February 18, 2009 - Introduced by Representatives PARISI, BLACK, SEIDEL, POCAN, BERCEAU, BIES, SHERMAN, POPE?ROBERTS, RICHARDS and ROYS, cosponsored by Senators ERPENBACH and MILLER.

Referred to Committee on Rules.

Relating to: declaring March 10, 2009, Tibet Day.

Whereas, Tibetans around the world are holding events to commemorate 50  years of exile and celebrate the efforts to preserve and sustain their identity and to thank governments, including the United States for its support during this time; and

Whereas, the United States Congress has enacted legislation declaring Tibet  an occupied country whose true representatives are His Holiness the Dalai Lama  and the Tibetan Government in Exile; and

Whereas, the accumulated grievances of almost decades of cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression of the Tibetan people by the government of the People's Republic of China has resulted in resentments that are the root of the Tibetan protests; and

Whereas, the human rights and freedom in Tibet must be the concern of all freedom?loving people who must call on the government of China to end its crackdown on Tibet and enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to find a negotiated solution to protect the fundamental freedoms of all Tibetans; and

Whereas, on March 10, 2009, Tibetans will gather in their host countries to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against the Chinese occupation of their country and to honor more than one million Tibetans who died in their struggle for the independence of Tibet; and

Whereas, it is fitting on this 50th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising that we recognize Wisconsin's Tibetan community and its plea for justice; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature proclaim March 10, 2009, "Tibet Day."

Wisconsin State Legislature declares March 10, 2009 as Tibet Day

Jacqueline Lee 2/26/2009 Madison, WI

On Tuesday, February 23, both houses of the Wisconsin State Legislature unanimously adopted Assembly Joint Resolution 17, which declares Tuesday, March 10, 2009, as Tibet Day.

AJR 17 commemorates the 50th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day.  The document calls attention to "resentments that are the root of the Tibetan protests," pointing to "the accumulated grievances of almost 6 decades of cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression of the Tibetan people by the government of the People's Republic of China."

"This is a resolution that we routinely adopt in the legislature, but this year is a particularly significant year," said Senator Mark Miller, D-Monona, referring to the 50th anniversary of the crackdown on Tibetan people by Chinese forces. 

Representative Spencer Black, D-Madison, also spoke in support of AJR 17.  "Sometimes here [in the legislature] I think we don't realize the impact that these resolutions have.  But to the Tibetan people….the fact that this Assembly and this legislature has continually stood with and spoken up for the Tibetan people and remembered their long and hard struggle is very important to them.  It's a very special thing."

Representative Joe Parisi, D-Madison, took time to highlight the non-violent struggle of Tibetans, led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  He contrasted this with China's recent actions, such as the killing of an estimated 200 Tibetans killed before the 2008 Olympics were held in Beijing.  "While Tibetans pursue peaceful negotiations, Chinese government continues to brutalize Tibetan people," he said.

Rep. Parisi also called attention to this year's non-celebration of Losar, the Tibetan New Year.  He cited a recent article from the New York Times, in which Tibetans said that they would not celebrate Losar this year, due to there having been said so much bloodshed in the last year.  He decried the Chinese government for attempting to coerce people into celebrating Losar: "They're handing out bribes; they're making threats: all in order to bring about an appearance of normalcy.  There can be no normalcy when human dignity is not respected, when violence and cultural genocide are carried with impunity."

To watch the Assembly floor proceedings on the passage of Assembly Joint Resolution 17, please click the link below.
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