Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on Tibetan National Uprising Day, which is commemorated on Saturday, March 10:
'On the 48th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day, we honor the many brave Tibetans who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom.
'The lack of progress on freedom and human rights in Tibet is an international concern. Just this week, the U.S. State Department issued its Annual Country Report on Human Rights documenting continued human rights abuses by the Chinese government in Tibet. The report states that Chinese 'authorities continued to commit serious human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, house arrest and surveillance of dissidents, and arbitrary restrictions on free movement.'
'It is long past time for Beijing to make progress on a solution that respects the human rights of every Tibetan.
'In recent years, many of us have been encouraged by the discussions between Tibetan envoys and Chinese authorities on the status of Tibet. While open dialogue is a first step, it is clear that the Chinese government is stalling in the negotiations. It is critical for these discussions to resume as soon as possible. A negotiated agreement would ensure internal stability in Tibet and bolster China's reputation in the world.
'The U.S. Congress continues to be a bedrock of support for the Tibetan people. Last year, Congress passed legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in recognition of his contributions to peace, nonviolence, and religious understanding. I was proud to be an original co-sponsor of that significant legislation.
'We must heed the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as his transcendent message of peace is needed now more than ever. And we must never forget the people of Tibet in their ongoing struggle.'