Tibet Lobby Day 2017
Tibetan leaders and Tibet supporters from the United States, Europe, and Australia urged their governments and Parliaments to offer greater support for Tibet and the Tibetan people. In Washington, over a hundred and thirty Tibetan-Americans and Tibet supporters visited the offices of more than 250 Members of Congress over the course of the two-day program.

“In stark contrast with the severe repression Tibetans inside Tibet face when they try to exercise their fundamental rights, Tibet Lobby Day sees Tibetans and their supporters around the world asking their elected officials to stand up for Tibet,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “The Dalai Lama says that truth is the only weapon in the Tibetan struggle for freedom. Over the last few days hundreds of people have met with their members of Congress and Parliament to tell them the truth about the situation inside Tibet, and to ask for their help in improving it.”

Tibet Lobby Day

Tibet Lobby Day participants and ICT President Matteo Mecacci with Rep. Jim McGovern.

“We’re here to speak for those who cannot,” said Chimi Youdon of Colorado. Howard Fass of Boston, MA, told Voice of America “we have an amazing opportunity to reach out to our elected officials in America. We live in a free country and we can talk to our elected officials and voice our concerns.” “They listen,” said Marah Litchford of North Carolina as she spoke to Voice of America. “You just have to talk loudly.”

Tibet Lobby Day

Tibet Lobby Day participants and ICT President Matteo Mecacci with Senator Mike Lee.

In addition to the in-person meetings on Capitol Hill, ICT members taking part in Virtual Lobby Day sent thousands of messages to their Members of Congress, covering 49 states and the District of Columbia. The International Campaign for Tibet coordinates Tibet Lobby Day in Washington in cooperation with Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Associations in the US. The Capital Area Tibetan Association and its members provided assistance to many of the participants of the Lobby Day. This year, the Office of Tibet in D.C. hosted a dinner reception.

Tibet Lobby Day

Tibet Lobby Day participants at ICT’s DC office after the first day of meetings. (Photo: Tenzin Wangchuk Tasur)