Statement on the 45th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day
CA -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following
statement today at a march in San Francisco commemorating the 45th
Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day:
you to the Bay Area Friends of Tibet, Tibet Justice Center, Tibetan
Association of Northern California, Tibetan Youth Congress, Committee
of 100 for Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibetan Nuns
Project for organizing this event to commemorate the 45th Anniversary
of Tibetan National Uprising Day.
we honor the many brave Tibetans who sacrificed their lives fighting
for freedom, and join together to demand that the Chinese government
release all prisoners on conscience, including Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
and the 11th Panchen Lama.
Chinas Peoples Liberation Army invaded Tibet in 1949,
Tibet was an independent state. Despite an agreement recognizing
Tibets autonomy over its internal affairs, the Chinese government
consolidated its control and repeatedly violated this treaty. Open
resistance to Chinese repression grew.
years ago today, on March 10, 1959, the people of Lhasa assembled
together and called for the Chinese to leave Tibet, thus marking
the beginning of the Lhasa Uprising. The Chinese crackdown was brutal
- an estimated 87,000 Tibetans were killed, arrested, or deported
to labor camps.
years since the uprising, more than 1 million Tibetans have been
killed, and more than 6,000 monasteries and irreplaceable jewels
of Tibetan culture have been destroyed. Today, Tibetans are routinely
imprisoned and tortured for non-violently expressing their views.
Beatings, prolonged exposure to extreme heat and cold, electroshock,
sleep and food deprivation, and forced labor are among the techniques
used to torture Tibetan political prisoners.
by the Chinese government to drive a wedge between the Dalai Lama
and the Tibetan people have proven futile. Tibetans are as devoted
to their traditional beliefs as ever, and the bond between His Holiness
the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people is fundamental and unbreakable.
the Dalai Lama is the key to peace and stability in Tibet. Envoys
of the Dalai Lama have traveled to China and Tibet twice in the
past year to continue discussions with Chinese authorities for a
permanent negotiated settlement. It is time for the Chinese government
to re-assess its hard-line stance toward Tibet and take a step forward
into a modern, open and free society.
of the Tibetan identity is an issue of urgent U.S. and international
concern. If we are not committed to meeting the challenge of Tibet,
we cannot be consistent when we talk about human rights in any other
place in the world.
honor the brave and heroic Tibetan people, we must heed the guidance
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is a constant reminder that the
crisis in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world. Please
be assured I will continue to support the aspirations of the Tibetan
people to preserve their heritage and regain their freedom.