More than 140 Tibetan-Americans and Friends of Tibet converged on Washington, DC, on March 18 and 19, 2013, to urge the U.S. Congress to support concrete actions to solve the Tibet crisis and support Tibetans in their effort to protect their culture, religion and identity.

“The experience was extremely phenomenal. As a Tibetan-American I feel that I am responsible to fulfil my civic duty, which includes voicing my concern about the repression of Tibetans,” said Tenzin Kunor a student from Lacrosse, Wisconsin.

This year marked the 5th annual Tibet Lobby Day in Washington, DC, and has grown since 2009 to be recognized as an annual event by many of the Congressional offices visited by participants. Similar lobby days were held in recent weeks in the national capitals of Australia, Belgium, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

“I have attended Tibet Lobby Day for the past five years and the big difference this time around was that everyone, both new and old in Congress, knew about the issues in Tibet,” said Hillary Levin, a participant from Maryland. “We did not have to start by explaining the problems in Tibet but only discuss the way forward. Their response was inspirational.”

Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters visited more than 150 offices to ask for Congress to continue funding for Tibet programs in the annual appropriations bill, approve a Tibet immigration provision as part of immigration reform legislation, and urge Secretary of State John Kerry to make Tibet a top priority during his first visit to China as Secretary next month.

In addition to in-person visits during Tibet Lobby Day, members of the International Campaign for Tibet sent nearly 7,000 messages to 463 House and Senate offices to ask for these distinct measures of support.

Tibet Lobby Day is a collaborative effort between the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and other Tibet groups, including Tibetan Associations in the United States, and Students for a Free Tibet.

Pictures can be found at: Tibet Lobby Day: 2013 Photographs »