04.26.18

Senate Unanimously Passes Leahy-Led Resolution Urging China To Respect Tibetan Human Rights And Religious Freedom

. . . Resolution was introduced by Leahy, Feinstein, Cruz and Rubio

WASHINGTON (THURSDAY, April 26, 2018) – The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution calling on China to respect human rights and religious freedom in Tibet.

Introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the resolution addresses one of the most important issues for the future of Tibet: the right of Tibetan Buddhists to determine their own leadership, including a future 15th Dalai Lama, free of outside interference from the Chinese Government. The Senate passed the resolution Wednesday night.

Through this resolution the Senate unanimously affirmed its support for the Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms, including their right to self-determination and the protection of their distinct identity. The Senate expressed its sense that prominent among these rights is that the identification and installation of Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders as a matter that should be determined solely within the Tibetan Buddhist faith community, in accordance with the inalienable right to religious freedom.

The resolution also commemorates the 59th anniversary of Tibet’s 1959 uprising against Chinese rule as “Tibetan Rights Day,” and the Senate calls on the Secretary of State to implement fully the provisions of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002.

“We stand by the Tibetan people, who have long been our unwavering friends,” said Leahy. “We also stand by the rights of Tibetan Buddhists, not just in Tibet but around the world, who should be able to determine their own religious leadership in accordance with their inalienable right to religious freedom.”

U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) have introduced a companion resolution in the House of Representatives.

The full text of the Senate resolution is available here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/429/text/

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