Mar 20, 2013

Tibet: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranked Tibet Among World's Most Repressed Societies

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Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressed concerns about the continuing unrest in Tibet. He has alleged that the region is among the most repressed and closed societies of the world.

Below is an article published by The Economic Times:

"Tibet today is one of the most repressed and closed societies in the world, where merely talking on the phone can land you in jail. Support for the Dalai Lama can be prosecuted as an offence against the state," Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

"Tibetans are treated as second class citizens; their travel within and outside of Tibetan areas is highly restricted. Foreign diplomats and journalists are routinely denied access," he said on the Senate floor yesterday. […]

He observed that Americans see Tibet as an issue of fundamental justice and fairness, where the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people, as embodied in the Chinese constitution, are not being respected; where their culture is being eroded; and where their land is being exploited.

Menendez said thus the responsibility falls to the US to help the Tibetan people in their efforts to preserve their culture and identity and have a say in their own affairs and to be able to exercise genuine autonomy within China.

"We should continue to fund the important programmes that help Tibetan communities, both in exile and on the Tibetan plateau. While these provide tangible humanitarian results, they also send a critical signal to the aggrieved Tibetan population that the United States hears their plea," he said.

The United States, he said should work with the UN to secure access to Tibet for independent international observers and media members.

"The State Department should continue to insist on access to Tibet by its personnel. We need independent and credible reporting on the true situation on the ground, and the Department should work with China to take steps to see that the principle of reciprocity is respected," Menendez argued.

"Peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue could go a long way in demonstrating to the world that China is indeed a responsible and constructive member of the community of nations. In turn, Beijing's growing influence in the Himalayan belt, especially Nepal, should be assessed in a broader dialogue with other nations in the region," Menendez said.