A message from Richard Gere to ICT Supporters
As Chairman of your International Campaign for Tibet, it gives me great pleasure to share with you the good news of our most extraordinary recent success.
Against huge obstacles, including a formidable Chinese lobbying effort, a transitional Congress, and a Washington that continues to be divided, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act was passed unanimously in the House and the Senate, and was signed into law by President Trump on December 19th, 2018.
It’s your support over these many years that made it possible.
This legislation calls for American diplomats, journalists and ordinary citizens to have the same access to Tibet that Chinese counterparts enjoy in the United States and marks a new era of U.S. support for the Tibetan people.
All of us at ICT worked tirelessly to help build a courageous and committed bipartisan group of Members of Congress, with the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to enact this powerful new law, our most important legislative win since the Tibet Policy Act of 2002 and the Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2007.
Among the 15 co-sponsors in the Senate were Sens. Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Tammy Baldwin, Bob Corker, Dick Durbin, Lindsay Graham, Bob Menendez, Pat Leahy, and Ted Cruz. Among the 55 co-sponsors in the House were Reps. James McGovern, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, James Sensenbrenner, Pramila Jayapal, Jerry Nadler, Randy Hultgren, and Nita Lowey.
You can be proud of your representatives.
Our job now will be to follow up with the State Department and Congressional leaders to implement and monitor this new law.
There could be far reaching consequences for those Chinese officials responsible for creating and maintaining the repressive policies in Tibet intended to isolate and eradicate Tibetans and their culture.
This is a major success for us and for our Tibetan sisters and brothers both inside and outside Tibet. With your continued support, we will build on this success here in the U.S., but also take the RATA legislation to our European friends and allies for their consideration.
This could be a real game changer in our international movement. Your ICT staff in Amsterdam, Berlin and Brussels as well as our partners in Australia and the UK are energized and empowered to expand this law’s influence in foreign capitals.
There is much yet to be done, but I wanted to share our joy, and further to congratulate and encourage you to keep it up. This was extremely meaningful. But it couldn’t have happened without your commitment and genuine support.
We can’t stop now. Non-violent change takes a long time, and we need patience and tenacity…but it’s worth it.
We did this together. And we will hopefully continue to do many meaningful things together in the future.
ICT Board of Directors