Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters from across the United States have concluded two days of meetings with their Congressional representatives as part of Tibet Lobby Day 2010 (March 1-2). Participants advocated for greater support for Tibet in Congress as constituents and members of the growing Tibetan American community in the United States, with Tibetans and friends of Tibet showing up in numbers. The themes of the meetings included thanking the U.S. Congress for its continuing support for programmatic and policy initiatives on behalf of Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, as well as for its ongoing support for the Dalai Lama’s attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.

Ms. Dechen Tsering, President of the Tibetan Association of Northern California who traveled from the Bay Area to take part in Tibet Lobby Day 2010, said “It’s not just important, it’s actually critical that Tibetans come here to put our asks to the U.S. Congress and our state representatives on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Tibet. It’s incredibly motivating to walk the corridors of the Capitol as a Tibetan American,” she said, “And the message I got, and the message I’m going to take back to the community, is that keeping in close contact with our representatives in Washington is a powerful way to support His Holiness’ work for the Tibetan people.”

Mr. Tamdin Tsering of the Tibetan Association of Vermont said, “It felt empowering to be able to sit down with one of my elected officials to discuss our issues as constituents. Basically all of us have come here because the Tibetan people in Tibet are facing a problem. As long as Tibetans in Tibet face problems, we as American citizens will continue to urge Congress and the administration to put pressure on China.” Similarly, Samten Chagzoetsang, a second generation Tibetan American who traveled to Washington from Utah to advocate for the second year in a row, said, “I had some great meetings. I am looking forward to returning again next year.”

In addition to the series of meeting held over the two days, more than 8000 letters were sent to the U.S.
Congress by Tibet supporters around the country. Tibet Lobby Day 2010 was hosted by ICT in association with Tibet Associations throughout the U.S. and the International Tibet Support Network, and is set to become established as a regular annual event for Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters.