US law to pre-empt China’s interference in appointment of next Dalai Lama – PTI

Dalai Lama & Nancy Pelosi

Times NowThe US to take measures to hold accountable officials of the Chinese Government or the Chinese Communist Party who interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, the successor to the 14th Dalai Lama. – PTI

US President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill which calls for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China’s interference.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 modifies and re-authorises various programmes and provisions related to Tibet.

Trump signed the act on Sunday as part of the massive USD 2.3 trillion package for the year-end bill to provide long-delayed coronavirus relief and fund the federal government.

The US Senate last week unanimously passed the bill despite China’s protest.

It authorises assistance to non-governmental organisations in support of Tibetan communities in Tibet; places restrictions on new Chinese consulates in the United States until a US consulate has been established in Lhasa, Tibet.

The law now authorises the Office of the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues and expands the office’s duties to include additional tasks, such as pursuing international coalitions to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist faith community.

It also directs the Secretary of State not to open a new Chinese consulate in the US unless China allows the opening of an American consulate in Lhasa.

It is the policy of the US to take all appropriate measures to hold accountable senior officials of the Chinese Government or the Chinese Communist Party who directly interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, the successor to the 14th Dalai Lama.

Beijing views the 14th Dalai Lama as a “separatist” working to split Tibet from China.

Some of the prominent measures approved by the US Congress include imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, including travel restrictions.

Noting that the 14th Dalai Lama advocates the Middle Way Approach, which seeks genuine autonomy for the six million Tibetans in Tibet, the new law says that the Dalai Lama has overseen a process of democratisation within the Tibetan polity and devolved his political responsibilities to the elected 23 representatives of the Tibetan people in exile in 2011.

The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 approves USD 1 million per annum for the Special US Coordinator on Tibet, USD 675,000 towards scholarship provisions, USD 575,000 for scholar exchange initiatives, USD8 million for the Tibetan Autonomous Regio and Communities in China, USD 6 million for Tibetans living in India, USD3 million for Tibetan governance.

Expressing concern over the exploitation of natural resources of Tibet, in particular water, the new law seeks to pursue collaborative efforts with Chinese and international scientific institutions, to monitor the environment on the Tibetan Plateau, including glacial retreat, temperature rise, and carbon levels, to promote a greater understanding of the effects on permafrost, the river flows, grasslands and desertification and the monsoon cycle. – Times Now, 28 December 2020


2 Responses

  1. President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration

    Tibetan leader welcomes U.S. bill that reaffirms rights, angering China – Neha Arora & Cate Cadell – Reuters – 22 December 2020

    The political head of Tibetans in exile on Tuesday welcomed legislation passed by the U.S. Congress that reaffirms the rights of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, a move that infuriated China.

    China regards the exiled Dalai Lama as a dangerous “splittist”, or separatist, and the latest show of support from the U.S. Congress could increase already tense ties between the two countries.

    Lobsang Sangay, president of the Tibetan Central Administration (CTA), which is known as the Tibetan government-in-exile, told Reuters Monday’s passing by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate of the Tibet Policy and Support Act (TPSA) was historic.

    The Chinese foreign ministry accused the U.S. of meddling in its internal affairs and warned the U.S. against signing the legislation into law, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing on Tuesday.

    “We urge the U.S. side to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and refrain from signing into law these negative clauses and acts, lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations,” Wang said.

    China seized control of Tibet after its troops entered the region in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation”. Tibet has since become one of the most restricted and sensitive areas in the country.

    The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

    The legislation calls for the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Tibet’s main city of Lhasa, the absolute right of Tibetans to choose a successor to the Dalai Lama and the preservation of Tibet’s environment.

    The legislation also proposes a “regional framework on water security” and greater participation from the community in dialogue with China on monitoring the region’s environment.

    “The People’s Republic of China has already completed water transfer programmes diverting billions of cubic metres of water yearly and has plans to divert more waters from the Tibetan plateau in China,” the bill said.

    Environmental groups and Tibetan rights activists have expressed concern about China’s hydropower ambitions in the region, saying they could affect downstream water supplies.

    China has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, which many see as a coercive attempt to control Tibet, where ethnic Tibetans make up about 90% of the population.

    “By passing the TPSA, Congress has sent its message loud and clear that Tibet remains a priority for the United States and that it will continue its steadfast support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA,” Sangay said.

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  2. It is no credit to India that it is the US government that has had the gumption to passed this law.

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