Tibet Lobby Day 2010 – the second annual lobbying event in Washington, DC by Tibetan Americans and friends of Tibet – is taking place this year on Monday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 2. Tibetan Americans and supporters of Tibet are expected to arrive in Washington, DC to thank their Congressional representatives for their record of support on Tibet, and to urge a continuing commitment to provide programmatic and political support for Tibetans in exile and in Tibet.
The event is being hosted by ICT in association with Tibet Associations throughout the U.S. and the International Tibet Support Network, and is intended to empower the growing Tibetan American community to ensure the issue of Tibet is kept high on the agenda of the U.S. government. Among the issues to be discussed will be the U.S. providing support for a negotiated settlement to the Tibet issue, pressing for a U.S. Consulate in Lhasa, and urging climate-change negotiators to focus on Tibet with an awareness of the particular vulnerabilities faced by Tibetans living on the Tibetan plateau – the world’s so-called “Third Pole.”
Coming two weeks after the Dalai Lama’s meetings with President Obama at the White House and with Secretary Clinton at the State Department, and in the context of several high-profile meetings and conferences held in Beijing on the status and future of Tibet – including the ninth round of dialog between Dalai Lama’s special envoys and their Chinese counterparts – Tibet Lobby Day is the latest in a string of events which re-affirm the importance of Tibet both in the international arena and as a constituent concern in the United States.
“This outreach by Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters will broaden and deepen the already substantial level of support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet in Congress,” said Todd Stein, ICT’s Government Relations Director. “Despite the polished and well-resourced lobby efforts by Chinese embassy staff in DC, elected officials will hear constituent voices echoing the Tibetan people’s unflinching courage and their commitment to non-violence, human dignity, and a just solution to the issue of Tibet.”
The first Tibet Lobby Day was held on March 9 and March 10, 2009, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s flight into exile. Tibet Lobby Day 2009 culminated with a reception on Capitol Hill where Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed her support for the Dalai Lama and his vision for a peaceful and negotiated resolution to the Tibet issue, and also featured a statement of strong support by Richard Gere, Chairman of ICT’s Board of Directors.