Washington – Antony Blinken, Secretary of US Department of State extends his best wishes for Losar, the Tibetan New Year of 2150, saying, " I extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating Losar, the Tibetan New Year. The United States reaffirms our commitment to supporting the preservation of Tibetans’ distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage, including through the ability to select and venerate their religious leaders without interference."
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of the US Department of State, and Uzra Zeya, US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, extended greetings on the occasion of Losar, the Tibetan New Year of 2150, on February 21, 2023, and reaffirmed the US commitment to support the preservation of Tibetans' distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage and to hold the PRC accountable for its human rights violations in Tibet.
While Secretary Blinken wishes losar, the Tibetan New Year of 2150, on February 21, 2023 and says, "I extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating Losar, the Tibetan New Year. On this first day of the Year of the Water Hare, we celebrate the perseverance, compassion, and strength of Tibetans across the globe, including the over 26,000 members of the Tibetan diaspora in the United States.”
“The United States reaffirms our commitment to supporting the preservation of Tibetans’ distinct cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage, including through the ability to select and venerate their religious leaders without interference,” the Secretary added.
“I wish our Tibetan friends, and all others across the Himalayan region celebrating Losar, peace and prosperity in the new year. Losar Tashi Delek and Happy New Year to all who are celebrating,” Secretary Blinken concluded.
The State Department has hosted the Tibetan New Year celebration since 2020, and this year's celebration was joined by distinguished guests, including our Congressional and civil society partners, ambassadors and fellow diplomats, representatives of the local Tibetan community, as well as staff from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies, including Deputy Assistant to the President Biden and White House Senior Liaison for Asian-Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders Erika Moritsugu.
As the State Department hosted the Losar celebration, Uzra Zeya, US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, said, “Let me extend a heartfelt “Losar Tashi Delek” to all our friends in this room as we wish you a prosperous year ahead full of joy, friendship, and collaboration."
“As we make significant strides in our work with allies and partners, the United States leads by example in calling attention to PRC human rights abuses and promoting accountability for those responsible. We have raised our concerns regarding the situation in Tibet at the highest levels of the PRC government, including during President Biden’s summit with President Xi last November. Moreover, on the eve of Human Rights Day, last December, the United States designated the former Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Wu Yingjie and the current head of the TAR Public Security Bureau, Zhang Hongbo, under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program in connection with serious human rights abuses in Tibet. This was the first time the United States, or any other country, has sanctioned PRC officials for their involvement in the repression taking place in Tibet,” said US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
“We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to promote accountability for the PRC’s human rights abuses. I am committed to working closely across the U.S. government and with our Congressional allies to devise innovative policy and programming solutions to support our Tibetan friends,” the Special Coordinator added.
“While it is important to recognize our efforts of the past year, we need to remain clear-eyed on the challenging road ahead. The PRC continues to implement draconian systems of control that seek to “Sinicize” the Tibetan population. It interferes in the succession process of Tibetan Buddhist lamas, including the Dalai Lama, both within the PRC and throughout the region. It seeks to stamp out the ability of communities to pass down Tibet’s linguistic and cultural traditions to younger generations, including through the forcible use of government-run boarding schools. The PRC executes these repressive policies using an increasingly omnipresent network of surveillance systems, tens of thousands of Communist Party cadres, and through outright intimidation, harassment, arrest, and imprisonment. We have been especially concerned by reports of mass DNA collection in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a practice that was spearheaded in Xinjiang, as an additional form of control and surveillance over the Tibetan population,” She said.
“My friends, our mutual resolve is unshakeable, but our path will not be easy. This Losar, we can draw inspiration from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who said that “when we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. No matter what is happening, no matter what is going on around you, never give up.” My friends, as we enter the year of the Water Hare, let us continue our journey together with this same spirit of perseverance, fortitude, and hope,” said Uzra Zeya, US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.