The United States Senate has approved a resolution which calls on the Chinese government to end repressive policies targeting Tibetans, address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people, and allow unrestricted access to foreign journalists and diplomats to Tibet. The resolution, S. Res. 356, was approved by the Senate by unanimous consent on the evening of March 29. An identical resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

“Congress has made clear its expectation for meaningful action by the Chinese government to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people,” said Todd Stein, Director of Government Relations at the International Campaign for Tibet. Just the day before, the State Department said that the ‘continuing vilification of the Dalai Lama … adds to the Tibetan grievances and just makes the situation worse.’ The U.S. government is united in its demand for an end to the Chinese crackdown in Tibet.”

S. Res. 356 was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and cosponsored by a bipartisan group including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Udall (D-CO).

The House resolution, H.Res. 609, was introduced yesterday by Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and George Miller (D-CA).

The resolutions:

  • mourn the death of Tibetans who have self-immolated and deplores repressive policies targeting Tibetans;
  • call on the Chinese government to suspend religious control regulations, reassess religious and security policies in Tibet, and resume a dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives;
  • call on the Chinese government to release all persons that have been arbitrarily detained, including Kirti monks, and allow unrestricted access to journalists, foreign diplomats, and international organizations to Tibet;
  • commend the Dalai Lama for his decision to devolve his political power in favor of a democratic system, and congratulates exile Tibetans for conducting free and fair elections;
  • reaffirm the unwavering friendship between Americans and the people of Tibet; and
  • call on the State Department of State to establish a consulate in Lhasa, Tibet, and to not permit China to open further diplomatic missions in the United States until the Chinese government agrees to open a U.S. consulate in Lhasa.