“We urge our fellow Americans to join in calling on Chinese leaders to let the Dalai Lama go home.”
With those powerful words, Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) put the finishing touch on their recent op-ed in The Boston Globe, which uses the occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday to argue for his right to return to Tibet.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after the independent nation was invaded by communist China.
Since then, His Holiness has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and Congressional Gold Medal and become one of the world’s most renowned champions of tolerance and nonviolence, building on the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. However, despite merely seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, rather than independence, he has never been allowed to return safely to Tibet.
“For nearly 60 years, he has not been able to return to his homeland and the people he leads,” Pelosi and McGovern write. “This is wrong.”
The two representatives are longtime friends of Tibet. Last week, they took part in a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on Capitol Hill.
In their op-ed, Pelosi and McGovern say that rather than continuing to oppress the Tibetan people, China would be wise to work with the Dalai Lama to create peace.
“It is not too late for China to choose a different path,” the two Congress members write. “Imagine the world’s reaction if Chinese authorities were to affirm the right of the 14th Dalai Lama to return to his homeland if he so desires.”