To: All Msg #61, 10-Jul-90 01:42pm Subject: H.H.D.L. and Congress by Robert McNamara, U.S.
From: Us-Tibet Committee/Info. Service Sent
To: All Msg #61, 10-Jul-90 01:42pm
Subject: H.H.D.L. and Congress
by Robert McNamara, U.S. Tibet Committee
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit the United States this September, and
there is great interest on Capitol Hill in having His Holiness address a
joint session of Congress. The Bush Administration, ever craven before the
Chinese, does not welcome such an enlightening event, and will no doubt try
to manever behind the scenes to block any invitation from the Congress to
the Dalai Lama.
It is suggested that Tibet supporters write to their Senators and
Representatives and urge them to support the initiative to have the Dalai
Lama address a joint session of Congress. If the Congress senses that there
is strong grass-roots support for having the Dalai Lama speak in Congress,
it may be able to resist the efforts of the Administration to appease the
A. M. Rosenthal, columnist and former foreign correspondent and executive
editor of the New York Times, published, in the Sunday Week In Review
section of July 8, 1990, an excellent article on the subject of His Holiness
addressing the Congress. The text of the column, which was headlined
"Congress and the Monk" follows:
by A. M. Rosenthal
In late September of this year, Congress will have a splendid opportunity to
honor itself and the name of the United States -- and correct a great wrong
to a monk who leads a nation from exile.
On Oct. 5, 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to this monk, born Tenzin
Gyatso in a Himalayan village and now the Dalai Lama, national leader of
Tibet and the embodiment of its Buddhism.
He won the prize for leading his nation's struggle for freedom from four
decades of Chinese Communist captivity -- without ever using the weapon of
He happened to be in the United States that day. He comes from time to time
to preach to American Buddhists.
The Bush Administration, like American Administrations before it, understood
that showing respect to the Dalai Lama would infuriate the Chinese
Communists who have held his nation in brutal captivity since 1950.
So the Bush Administration ignored the Dalai Lama and the award given to
him. This boycott was one of the more vulgar episodes of diplomatic
toadying in modern American history.
Millions of Tibetans have died in slaughter, imprisonment and torture.
Tibetans still die for freedom in their mountain towns and villages. They
fight a particularly vicious occupation, designed to wipe out not only their
sovereignty but their religion and national memory as well.
But we don't want to irritate the Chinese Communists, do we?
So the executive branch of the Government keeps pretending the Dalai Lama
does not exist. He has never seen an American President.
One day I heard one of the Dalai Lama's few representatives in the United
States say he was not permitted into the State Department. He did have the
privilege of calling in once in a while to see if somebody would lunch with
The envoys of all sorts of international goons and killers are bowed into
the State Department, but the representatives of this good man are not even
allowed close enough to press their noses against the windows.
But the United States Congress does not feel that way. Congress has passed
many resolutions expressing support and sympathy for the Tibetans. The
resolutions carry no enforcement power, but they outrage the captors in
Beijing. And they give strength to Tibetans at home and in Dharmsala, an
Indian town where the Dalai Lama and his fellow refugees are permitted to
In Dharmsala, Tibetans post the resolutions on the walls, so happy are they
at any sign that the world remembers them.
That is history; this is news: Republicans and Democrats in both houses have
been quietly talking about the possibility of having the Dalai Lama address
a joint session of Congress.
Only four other foreigners who were not heads of state have received that
honor: the Marquis de la Fayette, Winston Churchill when he was out of
office, Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela.
All the senators and representatives I spoke to said they thought the Dalai
Lama had earned the honor and that Americans would want the stain of the
boycott wiped out. But most of them brought up the big obstacle.
Traditionally the Administration is asked its opinion of such a move. Given
their record of kowtowing to the Chinese Communists, the Bush people will
run screaming into the night at the very idea.
In both houses of Congress, new bills are being written to deny Communist
China the low tariffs granted to most other nations. That proposal already
has been vetoed by the President and will be again.
Again, Congress may not put together the two-thirds vote to override the
But Tibetans should be treated separately and distinctly, as victims of an
international crime still going on. Whatever happens to tariff legislation,
the Dalai Lama and his people deserve at least a hearing, dignity,
recognition -- the three things that mean so much to all political
The issue will land on the desks of Representative Thomas Foley of
Washington and Senator George Mitchell of Maine. As Speaker of the House
and Senate majority leader, they will have to decide whether the opposition
of the Administration should be automatically accepted as an irremovable
Veto of the desire of the majority of Congress to hear and honor the Dalai
Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, Democratic head of the Foreign
Relations Committee, says there is a 50-50 chance of an invitation to the
They have faced worse odds for decades, Tenzin Gyatso and all his people
suffering in the Himalayas.
From: Robbie Barnett Sent
To: All Msg #62, 12-Jul-90 09:37pm
Subject: World Politicians for Tibet
/* Written 3:05 pm Jul 10, 1990 by gn:robbieb in cdp:tibet.informat */ /*
---------- "MPs call for Tibet Self-Determinati" ---------- */ Subject: MPs
call for Tibet Self-Determination
News Update/Tibet Information Network/7 Beck Road London E8 UK phone
(-44-81) 533 5458/ Robbie Barnett
MPS FROM 17 COUNTRIES CALL FOR TIBET SELF-DETERMINATION
London, Monday 9 July 1990
At a conference in London which ended on Sunday, MPs from 17 countries
declared their support for Tibetan self-determination.
The MPs issued a declaration calling on the Chinese Government to start
negotiations with the Dalai Lama "for a peaceful transfer of power leading
to independence for the Tibetan people", and said they would urge their own
Governments to acknowledge the Dalai Lama and his exile Government as the
sole representatives of the Tibetan people.
The 3-day International Consultation on Tibet involved 140 politicians,
academics, lawyers and representatives of non-Governmental organisations
from 34 countries in detailed discussions about the Chinese presence in
Tibet. The conference represented the highest level of political discussion
of the Tibet issue for many years. International debate of the subject ended
when China was accepted into the UN in 1971.
Although the British Government refused to attend, saying that it
acknowledged "the special position of the Chinese authorities in Tibet",
conference participants included Steingrimur Hermannsson, the current Prime
Minister of Iceland, as well as observers from 6 other Governments.
Last week the Chinese Ambassador in London called for the immediate
cancellation of the conference, describing it as an interference in China's
internal affairs. The conference was convened by huamn rights groups at the
UK Parliament and the US Congress and organised by International Alert,
London-based NGO involved in conflict resolution.
On Sunday the Conference, chaired by Lord Ennals, a former junior Foreign
Minister in the UK, announced that a co-ordinating organisation would be set
up to link the efforts of MPs in different countries. MPs supporting the
declaration included many from countries outside Europe, with strong
contingents from India, Nepal, Australia, the United States, Malaysia, and
Some MPs represented large groups or political parties in their own
parliaments, and a French deputy announced that in France a cross-party
group of 65 MPs had been formed to support the Tibet issue.
The conference also announced that "an international commission of
distinguished persons" would be set up to advance the aims of the Conference
Declaration, which included an offer to assist Parliamentarians who want to
make fact-finding missions to Tibet.
Especially significant was the presence of representatives from the Mongolia
Democratic Party and the Mongolia Democratic Union, who announced their
support for the "Tibetan people's struggle for their self-determination".
Dandindorg Ninge, of the General Co-ordinating Council of the Mongolian
Democratic Union, noted that the Tibet conference was the first
international involvement of his party since one-party rule was ended in
Mongolia. He added that the Mongolian Government had previously accepted
that Tibet was part of China, but said the Democratic Parties in Mongolia
"were interested to make a change in that situation."
Delegates heard a former Minister from the Zimbabwe Government declare
sorrow at China's failure to allow self-determination in Tibet "when it had
worked so hard to assist us in our fight for self-determination and
independence in Zimbabwe." Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, former
Attorney-General, said that African attitudes to Tibet were based only on
the Chinese version of the facts, and called on Tibetans to go and explain
their situation to people in Africa, many of whom had "lived through similar
atrocities". In a debate at the UN earlier this year China told the African
nations that critics of their human rights record were being led by Western
countries in an attack on developing nations.
In an important statement by the socialist group at the European Parliament,
Jannis Sakellariou, an MEP from West Germany, said that the group "did not
accept the Chinese claim that Tibet was part of China" and called for China
to recognise the Tibetans' right to self-determination.
The conference was particularly significant for an important criticism of
United States foreign policy made by a representative of the US Senate
Foreign Relations Committee. Mary-Beth Caviness, staffer to Committee
Chairman Senator Claiborne Pell, cited Chinese arms sales to the Khmer Rouge
and to Middle Eastern countries as proof that US reliance on China as an
ally was misguided. "China is not and never has been a reliable ally of the
United States", she said, adding that Tibet was now accepted in the US as an
Although international conferences on the situation in Tibet have been held
in Germany, India, Denmark and Japan since Chinese police opened fire on
demonstrators there in October 1987, the London Consultation was the first
gathering of high ranking politicians to discuss the issue. It was unique in
focussing on the question of Tibet's political status rather than limiting
itself to human rights abuses.
The meeting was attended by senior reperesentatives of the
Tibetan Government-in-exile, as well as two Tibetan
dissidents who had escaped in the last
six months from Tibet after being imprisoned for taking part
in pro- independence demonstrations. One, a 25-year old monk
from Drepung near Lhasa,
had had 4 ribs broken and his skull fractured twice during
arrest and interrogation in the Tibetan capital in March
Reperesentatives of the Chinese exile organisation, the
Federation for a Democratic China, indicated a
significant basis of support within the organisation for
Tibetan views. Officially the FDC has committed itself
only to supporting the federal option for Tibet, but
conference delegates were told by Lan Dong, FDC Information
Secretary, that in a recent survey of Chinese exiles
in West Germany, 65% had supported the Tibetans' right
Participants included three former Foreign Ministers, as well as the former
Attorney-General of the United States and the cureent Attorney-General of
New South Wales, Australia.
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E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank