Washington DC, USA – “We must continue to do what we do for the cause of Tibet,” said Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay in a virtual celebration organised by Regional Tibetan Association of Massachusetts (RTAM) on February 16, 2021, to mark the success of Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020 (TPSA) and to acknowledge the efforts of Congressman Jim McGovern and Senator Marco Rubio.
Dr Lobsang Sangay, the President of Central Tibetan Administration, Bethany Poulos, the Foreign Affairs advisor to Senator Rubio, DhardonSharling , the former Central Tibetan Administration Secretary, Todd Reid, State Director of Senator Rubio’s office, China Commission Staff Director Jonathan Stivers, North America Representative Ngodup Tsering, Bhuchung Tsering, Interim President of International Campaign for Tibet , DorjeeTseten , Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet, presidents of North America Tibetan Associations, President of RTAM Tsering Dhundup, and other Hill staffers joined the virtual celebration.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed his gratitude towards Congressman Jim McGovern and Senator Marco Rubio for their instrumental role in the success of Tibet. He called them the prime architects of the bill. “Congressman Jim was always keen on doing something for Tibetans and now he has played an instrumental role in passing this act,” he mentioned. He went on to explain how the importance of this bill in the lives of Tibetans. “You have sent a powerful message of justice for the Tibetans,” he said. “Chinese Government are calling former scholars to write against this bill,” he recalled from the recent reports he read.
Congressman Jim Mc Govern considers acceptance of this act as a ‘tremendous achievement’ and lauded the efforts of the makers who pushed for the passage of the act. He further thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for being an inspiration to the US and also committed to ‘redouble’ his efforts to ensure that the Biden Administration effectively implements both the TPSA and the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018. He also hoped for the ties between US and Tibet to grow stronger, especially on the issues of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation, human rights of Tibetan people, and security of Tibet’s environment and water resources.
Bethany Poulos remarked that the international community cannot overlook the abuses happening at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. She further shared the Senator’s commitment to finding new tools including sanctions to hold those responsible, accountable. Bethany highlighted that the TPSA is only the beginning and the issue of Tibet is not just a moral issue but the interests of the United States.
This ceremony marked the signing of TPSA into law by one of the world superpowers, paving way for strengthening relations between US and Tibet and creating history after decades. A citation was presented to congressman McGovern and Senator Rubio at the end, that thanked them for “adding a bright chapter in the history to U.S.-Tibet relations, and for renewing the hopes and aspirations of Tibetans (inside and outside Tibet) for freedom.”