Last week was a busy week for Tibet here in Washington, D.C. We had the visit of Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay and Kasur Kirti Rinpoche, whose numerous engagements included a hearing by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission at the US Congress. You can read their testimonies from here.
I also had the privilege to testify at a hearing by the U.S. Congress’ House Committee on Foreign Affairs on November 3, 2011 on Tibet. The Hearing was about the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC): 2011 Annual Report. I am giving below the text of my testimony.
Since the US Special Coordinator on Tibetan Issues, Mario Otero, is also a commissioner of the CECC, she issued a statement on Tibet, which I am including here.
Testimony of Bhuchung K. Tsering Vice President for Special Programs at
the International Campaign for Tibet before the House Committee on Foreign
Affairs hearing on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China: 2011
November 3, 2011
Madam Chairman, Congressman Berman, and Members of the Committee. I thank you for this opportunity to testify on the Tibet aspects of the annual report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).
This hearing comes at a critical juncture in the modern history of Tibet. Tibetans in unprecedented numbers have started resorting in their despair – and some would say in their extraordinary courage and conviction – to the most extreme form of protest imaginable: self-immolation.
We value the work of the CECC and commend the annual report not only for the rigor of its reporting, but also for the breadth of its scope. The CECC provides a valuable service in covering a wide spectrum of human rights abuses committed by Chinese authorities in Tibet: from threats to the Tibetan language to political imprisonment; from the steady eradication of the Tibetan nomadic lifestyle to regulations to exert control over Tibetan Buddhism; from harassing, detaining and imprisoning
writers to jailing Tibetans who came to the aid of monks who had burned themselves. I would like to comment on the CECC report by linking it to what is happening with Tibetans in Tibet today.