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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."

Strong support for Tibet from next US President

November 6, 2008

International Campaign for Tibet
November 5th, 2008

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) congratulates Barack Obama 
on his election to be the 44th President of the United States and 
anticipates strong support from the Obama Administration for Tibetan 

"The Tibetan people will have a friend and strong supporter in 
President-elect Obama," said John Ackerly, President of the 
International Campaign for Tibet. "This is a critical time for the 
Tibetan issue and we are confident that the Obama Administration will 
continue the existing support for Tibet and provide new energy for the 
efforts of the Dalai Lama to engage with the Chinese government. If we 
build on what Senator Obama has said about Tibet in the past, then we 
can expect even stronger initiatives from the Untied States in the 
future," Ackerly concluded.

Senator Obama has a strong record of support for Tibet and has met 
with the Dalai Lama to discuss human rights issues. Senator Obama 
attended a private Senate Foreign Relations Committee briefing with 
the Dalai Lama in November 2005 and has featured a photograph of 
himself with the Dalai Lama from that briefing in the media section of 
his presidential campaign website. Senator Obama has personally urged 
Chinese President Hu Jintao to resolve the situation in Tibet through 
dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, and this spring, 
when demonstrations spread across the Tibetan plateau, Senator Obama 
telephoned the Dalai Lama in India to discuss the situation. The 
Senator subsequently called on the Chinese to show restraint in 
dealing with the protests. Comments by the Senator on his phone call 
are available on the ICT website at Senator 
Obama was also a Senate sponsor of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama 
Congressional Gold Medal Act, which awarded the nation's highest 
civilian honor to the Dalai Lama in October 2007.

The Obama-Biden campaign has pledged to actively engage China on a 
number of issues, including human rights in Tibet and China's 
crackdown on democracy and religious freedom activists. The campaign 
has pledged to "be frank with the Chinese about such failings and will 
press them to respect human rights."

Among the senior foreign policy advisors to the Obama campaign is 
Gregory B. Craig, the first U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan 
Issues, appointed by then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996.

As a long-serving member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 
Senator Joe Biden has been a consistent voice in support of Tibetan 
issues and a force behind the establishment of Radio Free Asia which 
is crucial to disseminating news unfiltered by Chinese state media to 
communities inside Tibet.

The International Campaign for Tibet thanks Senator John McCain for 
his support for Tibet in this campaign year and especially for his 
public appeal for the fair treatment of Tibetan political prisoners.

Senator McCain held a highly publicized meeting with the Dalai Lama in 
Aspen, Colorado in July, commenting afterwards that the Dalai Lama's 
"nonviolence approach and his lifelong approach of seeking common 
ground around cultural and religious divides are an inspiration for 
all of mankind and to millions of Americans."
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