The Mayor of New York, Michael Blomberg, will welcome the Dalai Lama and present him with the keys to the city at 2.30 pm tomorrow. Senator Moynihan, who was a personal friend of the Dalai Lama, died in 2003. This new station, on the site of the James A Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue, across the street from the current Penn station, was a long-term project of the Senator, who envisaged it to be a gateway to the great American city which was also his childhood home.
‘Senator Moynihan was a tough critic of China’s policies in Tibet and of the inadequacies of US measures to address them,’ said Mary Beth Markey, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet. ‘With his colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Moynihan pressed administration officials to replace rhetoric with effective support. He leaves a legacy of programmatic and political support for Tibetan issues that continues in the Congress today.’
Senator Moynihan was principally responsible for Section 355 of Public Law 102-22 that endorsed the Tibetan people’s recognition that their true representatives are ‘the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile’. This strong expression of support for the political leadership of the Dalai Lama began a period of Congressional activism on behalf of Tibet.
Moynihan applauded the establishment of the position of the US Special Coordinator on Tibetan Issues in June 1997, an initiative of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying: ‘Most importantly, we must focus on efforts to bring the Tibetans and the Chinese to the negotiating table to resolve their differences. The situation requires far more attention within the administration and a special coordinator can provide appropriate attention.’
Moynihan had served in the administrations of four US presidents, including as ambassador to India, and spent four terms in the Senate representing New York.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Washington DC in November this year, where he is expected to meet the President and Secretary of State.