Mr. BERMAN. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include [Page: H2049]
extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
Mr. BERMAN. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, I would first like to thank our Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, for introducing this important resolution. Speaker Pelosi's commitment to human rights generally, and Tibetan human rights specifically, is deep, well established, and unwavering.
For two decades in Congress, from her earlier stage as a junior Member to her current position as Speaker, she has used her powerful voice to speak on behalf of the Tibetan people. The bipartisan delegation that she recently led to Dharmsala to meet with the Dalai Lama and her authorship of this resolution demonstrate her continuing dedication on the Tibetan issue. I am, and all of us in this body should be, grateful for her leadership.
China's response to Tibetan protests over the last month has been tragically predictable. For half a century, the Tibetan people have struggled under the repressive policies of the Chinese authorities. And sadly, the current crackdown is only the most recent example of Beijing's mistreatment of Tibetans.
As the world watched events unfold inside China, we were sickened not only by the shock of seeing images of Chinese authorities beating Tibetans in the street, but also by the realization that these are images that we have seen before, and fear we may see again.
It was this legacy of repression that caused Tibetan monks to take to the streets on March 10th to peacefully protest Beijing's ongoing denial of religious, cultural, and human rights for the Tibetan people. And sadly, it was the same legacy that caused Beijing to respond with excessive force and a propaganda campaign designed to stoke Chinese nationalism by demonizing Tibetans and their spiritual leader, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
If China wishes to be viewed by the world as a truly responsible power, it must put an immediate end to its shortsighted policies towards Tibet which are morally reprehensible, irresponsible and dangerous.
Beijing cannot credibly claim that is seeks genuine reconciliation with the Tibetan people when its policies force Buddhist monks to denounce their allegiance to the Dalai Lama, deny educational and economic opportunities to Tibetans, and threaten Tibetan culture by encouraging an overwhelming influx of Han Chinese migrants into Tibetan areas. This resolution not only condemns Beijing's crackdown on Tibetan protesters, it also urges China to begin to move away from its policy of repression and
incitement of ethnic tensions.
The resolution calls on Beijing to allow international monitors to assess the situation in Tibetan areas in China and ensure that those injured in the protest receive adequate medical treatment.
In addition, the resolution urges Beijing to hold direct and results-based discussions with the Dalai Lama in order to come to a resolution of the Tibetan issue, one that respects Chinese territorial integrity and sovereignty, but at the same time provides genuine religious and cultural autonomy for Tibetans.
The resolution instructs the Department of State to reconsider its decision not to include China among the countries with the worst human rights records in the Department's 2007 Human Rights Report.
Madam Speaker, at this point, once again, I would like to thank Speaker Pelosi for introducing this important resolution, which I strongly support, and ask my colleagues to do the same.
Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong and enthusiastic support of this resolution which forcefully criticizes the current bloody crackdown that is taking place in Tibet. This resolution also condemns Beijing's almost six decades of suppression of the religious, linguistic, economic, and cultural rights of the people of Tibet.
It was my great honor, Madam Speaker, to sponsor legislation which resulted in the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that we can bestow in the United States Congress, to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, last October. My late friend and colleague from across the aisle, Congressman Tom Lantos, and I worked together to ensure that His Holiness received the official recognition that he so richly deserves.
The Dalai Lama, who is also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, has won the admiration of all of us, not only for his spiritual guidance, but also for his principled stand upholding the human rights of the captive people of Tibet.
Beijing's cynical and crass campaign to denigrate His Holiness both inside and outside of Tibet has drawn the anger of both the Dalai Lama's followers, as well as people of good will throughout the globe. Beijing has called His Holiness ``a splittist'' and ``a wolf in monk's clothing.'' The Chinese Embassy even recently sent out a computer link to offices here on Capitol Hill ludicrously comparing His Holiness to Nazis.
The people of Tibet can no longer silently bear these continued insults directed at their spiritual leader, a man respected as an advocate of peace, of compassion, and good will. A boiling point was reached on March 10th, the anniversary of the 1959 uprising in Tibet and subsequent flight of the Dalai Lama into exile in India. When demonstrators broke out in Lhasa, Beijing responded with an iron fist. In implementing a bloody crackdown, Beijing ignored its past pledge to the International Olympic
Committee to improve the human rights situation in China prior to this summer's Olympics. Chinese authorities even denied foreign diplomats and journalists all access to Tibet.
With increasing numbers of American tourists traveling to Tibet every year, the United States has a legitimate interest in having diplomatic access to Tibet for consular services. But there should be no further openings of more Chinese consulates in the United States until China stops its repression of religious and ethnic minorities and stops violating the fundamental human rights of its own citizens.
The crackdown continued until April 3, when Chinese troops fired into a peaceful crowd of demonstrators outside a Tibetan temple in southwest China. The crowd had been protesting the arrest of two monks who were found in possession of photographs of the Dalai Lama. Eight were killed, including members of the Buddhist clergy.
But the Chinese regime has not only been responsible for shedding innocent Tibetan blood, in Darfur, in Burma, in North Korea, and inside China itself, bloody repression continues unabated.
This lack of liberty will further diminish the light of the Olympic torch. The progression of that torch from London and Paris to San Francisco has become a focal point for those who would raise their voices concerning the immense human rights abuses of the Chinese regime.
What has begun in Tibet will not stay in Tibet. Already there are reports of unrest among the Uyghur minority as well. Beijing's continued repression and denial of human rights will become the chief focal point of international attention in the summer of the Beijing Olympics. And, Madam Speaker, if the present repression continues, the Beijing games will indeed become the ``Genocide Olympics.''
I urge all of my colleagues to join in vigorous approval and support for this resolution.
With that, Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time, and I ask unanimous consent that my good friend the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) be allowed to manage the remainder of our time.
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Let me thank the distinguished chairman and [Page: H2050]
as well the ranking member of the full committee, to the Speaker of the House for her continued leadership. And I am always reminded of the late Chairman Tom Lantos and his commitment to the people of Tibet.
Madam Speaker, I've had the honor and privilege of being with the people of Tibet in their temples, listening to their plea, walking alongside of them, admiring and respecting their tenacity, determination, and their love of freedom and peace. As well, the Dalai Lama has visited not only this community but also the State of Texas, and we have had the pleasure of seeing him be a guiding force for peace.
It is time now for this resolution and the call that it makes for the People's Republic to shine the light on Tibet and give them the rights of engagement and discussion because what we are facing are accumulated grievances of almost six decades of cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression of the Tibetan people by the Government of the People's Republic of China. It has resulted in these resentments, and it has resulted in this oppression in the expression of the Tibetan people.
As this Olympic torch travels around the world, you will see the people who are peace loving and loving human rights standing up. As it comes to my city, as it goes to other cities, there will be those of us who stand against it. In fact, we have called upon the Chinese Ambassador to wake up and to recognize that the world is crying out for justice for the Tibetan people.
The resolution calls on this particular government, the Chinese Government, to begin a dialogue with the Dalai Lama, to bring about respect, to allow international monitors and journalists. I truly believe it is time now for the world to stand up.
And so to my colleagues, it is important that this resolution be passed. I believe we should be in front of the Chinese Embassy here in Washington, D.C., petitioning that government to hear the cry of the Tibetan people, to respect the Dalai Lama, and to bring finally peace and freedom and, yes, democracy to a peace-loving people. The oppressors cannot oppress the oppressed forever, and we stand against it. This resolution speaks to a resolution. We ask for the agreement.
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), the coauthor of this resolution who recently returned from Dharamsala, where he met with the Dalai Lama.
Mr. SENSENBRENNER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution and in solidarity with the Tibetan people in this trying time. The recent events in Tibet have captured the attention of this body and the American people. We as Americans are both saddened and outraged by the Chinese Government's crackdown on peaceful protests in Tibet.
This body must be clear in its support of fundamental human rights. Tibetans deserve the right to preserve their culture, heritage, language, and religion.
The Chinese Government has argued that this crackdown was in response to violent protest by the Tibetan people. However, the government dismissed outside journalists from the region and has restricted their ability to accurately report on the situation. Meanwhile, Americans traveling in China in recent weeks have revealed that their televisions went black when the international media reported on Tibet.
This restriction of freedom is consistent with China's historically abysmal human rights record. While it would be simpler to believe that the Chinese Government's assertion that its crackdown was a just response to violent protest, the very fact that [Page: H2051]
China has gone to such great lengths to control the flow of information on the protests makes such an assertion a great stretch of credulity.
I had the honor of meeting with Tibet's spiritual leader and historic head of state, the Dalai Lama, last month shortly after the protests began. His Holiness made very clear his opposition to the acts of violence taking place in Tibet. Since his exile 49 years ago, the Dalai Lama has consistently advocated for a peaceful resolution to the tension between Tibet and China. If there is to be a real solution to the problem, the Chinese Government must engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama with
the intention of finding a lasting resolution for both parties.
In the coming months, China will open its doors to the world and show its best face. We've heard a lot in this country recently about transparency, and this body responded by implementing greater transparency in our government. Now is the time for China to take responsibility for its actions and implement heightened transparency to the world community on the situation in Tibet and on the conduct of its own government.
The stage is set for China to demonstrate a newfound commitment to human rights and peace. This institution and the world are watching expectantly. Let us hope that the Chinese Government receives the message loud and clear that all pressures remain on the table in protecting the rights of the Tibetan people.
Madam Speaker, the Tibetan people have waited 49 years for their freedom. Their patience is wearing thin. If China wishes to be considered an equal among the leaders of the world, it must act like one by standing for basic human rights in Tibet.
Mr. BERMAN. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to a member of our committee, a stalwart fighter for human rights, the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee).
Mr. SHAYS. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H. Res. 1077, introduced by our Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, calling on the Government of China to end its crackdown in Tibet and to enter into a substantive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The recent violence in Tibet, which was triggered by the Buddhist monks asking for religious freedoms, should be a great concern to everyone concerned about human rights. China needs to end the violence and engage in open and honest dialogue with the Dalai Lama to achieve peace and reconciliation. China must come to realize that Tibetans deserve more autonomy and the world community will not be silent until they achieve it.
As a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, I am very concerned about human rights in China but in particular the political and religious freedoms of Tibetans. I urge the resolution's adoption and appreciate this resolution coming to the floor.
Mr. POE. I thank the gentleman for yielding time.
Madam Speaker, Tibet is being denied the basic human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the freedom to seek grievances against its own government.
China, the bully of Asia, literally is beating up on the small religious Tibetan community. China puts down dissent by the use of the bloody club and the firearm. And China suppresses the world press that tries to report on what they are doing by issuing scripted propaganda papers about these peaceful Tibetan people, propaganda that we have not seen since Hitler's Nazi Germany.
China's ugly personality of brutality and oppression is now being seen by all of the world. And as China tries to carry the Olympic torch throughout the world, the flame of the torch is setting peoples in this world on fire in support of the people of Tibet.
So China must cease its oppression of its own people or face international rebuke and international condemnation, including condemnation by this body.
I support the people of Tibet, and I urge passage of this resolution. And I want to thank the chairman for bringing this resolution so quickly to the House floor.
Ms. LEE. I yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) who is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Ms. SOLIS. Madam Speaker, I rise this evening in strong support of House Resolution 1077.
At the end of March, I traveled to India with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation and met with the leader of Tibet, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. We met young Tibetan children in India and saw hope in their eyes for a better future. We were greeted by many thousands and thousands of Tibetans along the road as we traveled up the mountain where they lived. Yet we heard stories of violence and torture inflicted by the Chinese Government on the Tibetan people and
protesters. We learned of recent Chinese policies and laws that have limited the economic opportunities for Tibetans in China and severely endangered the Tibetan culture, religion and their language, in fact, their whole being.
Tibetans have fled to India to be able to practice their religion in peace and preserve their culture with dignity and respect. The Dalai Lama spoke to us about his desire for peace and his longing to live autonomously, not independent of, but autonomously in China so that Tibetans could practice their religion openly.
I, too, share his desire. House Resolution 1077 calls on China to end its repression inside Tibet, release prisoners who participated in nonviolent protest, and to begin a dialogue, a true dialogue with the Dalai Lama to find a solution for Tibet that respects human rights. The resolution calls for access for journalists so that the world can see, hear and view the situation in Tibet.
The Tibetan people are at a critical point in their movement to live peacefully and autonomously. We must [Page: H2053]
stand with them. We must also be a beacon of hope for them and for those thousands of children that we saw at the orphanage there. They greeted us with hearts open to us with flags both representing the U.S. Government and the Tibetan people.
I stand here, Members, strongly supportive of House Resolution 1077 and ask you to join with us and the Speaker of the House for its swift passage.
Mr. INSLEE. Madam Speaker, due to the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, we were able to experience a profound and moving time in Dharamsala, India, 2 weeks ago, and it was profound for two reasons. One, when you talk to a Buddhist monk who has walked for 5 days through the Himalayan mountains to escape suppression and obtain some modicum of religious liberty, it would move the hardest of hearts. And we talked to monks who had that experience, monks who couldn't even show a little medallion
with a picture of the Dalai Lama on their chest without having to go to jail in Tibet under the control of the Chinese Government. It was profound in that sense, but it was profound in meeting the Dalai Lama, as well, a person of great humor, great grace, great courage and great
nonviolence. And he has asked for an investigation of what has gone on in Tibet, to quash what the Chinese Government has been saying about him, saying that he has instigated this violence. Anyone who makes that claim couldn't distinguish between Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara.
And I take great umbrage at this assertion that somehow he has been the reason for violence. His position has been reasonable. He has asked for a dialogue with the Chinese Government. He has asked for an investigation to what happened in Tibet. He has not called for a boycott of the Olympics, an extremely reasonable position given what his people have undergone.
His aspirations for China I think should be the world's, that as China grows into a great economic power, let it seek to be a great power in the sense of morality and humanity. My district has a growing relationship with China selling jets, software and agricultural products. And we like to see the economic potential of China. But that has to be married, to become a great nation, with a commitment to humanity, morality and religious freedom. This is consistent not only with America's core values,
but international values in the Olympic spirit. We hope we move in that direction.