Senate Resolution 212 welcomed the Dalai Lama to Washington and commended him for his leadership in the areas of peace and freedom. Senator Feinstein (D-CA), who introduced the resolution, presented a copy of Senate Resolution 212 to the Dalai Lama.
House Resolution 359, a companion resolution to Senate Resolution 212, was introduced by Congressman Steve Rotheman (D-NJ) and passed the House on September 10 by a vote of 421 in favor and 0 against.
“Members and supporters of the International Campaign for Tibet should be applauded for their work to have these resolutions passed unanimously,” said Mary Beth Markey, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet U.S.
“Although we have many friends in Congress, our members’ postcards, emails and letters to their Senators and Representatives sent the message that Americans expect the U.S. Government to stand by the Dalai Lama.”
As the debate on the House resolution came to an end, Congressman James Leach (R-IO) called attention to the special responsibility of the United States to support the aspirations of the Tibetan people.
“It is always awkward for this Congress, or any body, to comment on the affairs of other societies,” said Leach.
“But the uniqueness of our foundation as a nation state was that we were the first country established on the principle of individual rights which were assumed to be universal, not simply particular to those living in the original 13 colonies.
“Thus we have an obligation to our forbears to speak to the universality of political values, rights endowed by a Creator to all citizens of this planet. It is in this context that we recognize the transcendent universality of the Dalai Lama’s mantle of leadership values which track so consistently our heritage.”
Senate Resolution 212 (S. Res. 212), was introduced on July 31 by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Joseph Biden (D-DE) and referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for action. The panel discharged the proposed resolution on September 8, and the full Senate took up the measure and passed it the same day.
“The Dalai Lama should be recognized and congratulated for his consistent efforts to promote dialogue to peacefully resolve the Tibet issue and to increase the religious and cultural autonomy of the Tibetan people,” the authors of S. Res. 212 stated.
Among the sponsors of S. Res. 212 were Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD).
Also backing the resolution were Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joseph Biden (D-DE), the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee respectively.
The Dalai Lama delivered a keynote address on Capitol Hill September 9 at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
You can find a the text of this resolution here.