CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.Res. 226 is being considered on the floor under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) in March 2009.
H.Res. 226 resolves that the House of Representatives:
• "Recognizes the Tibetan people for their perseverance in face of hardship and adversity in Tibet and for creating a vibrant and democratic community in exile that sustains the Tibetan identity;
• "Recognizes the Government and people of India for their generosity toward the Tibetan refugee population for the last 50 years;
• "Calls upon the Government of the People's Republic of China to respond to the Dalai Lama's initiatives to find a lasting solution to the Tibetan issue, cease its repression of the Tibetan people, and to lift immediately the harsh policies imposed on Tibetans, including patriotic education campaigns, detention and abuses of those freely expressing political views or relaying news about local conditions, and limitations on travel and communications; and
• "Calls upon the Administration to recommit to a sustained effort consistent with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, that employs diplomatic, programmatic, and multilateral resources to press the People's Republic of China to respect the Tibetans' identity and the human rights of the Tibetan people."
According to the resolution's findings, between 1949 and 1951 the armed forces of the People's Republic of China occupied the Tibetan homeland and laid siege to the capital of Lhasa. Under duress, the Tibetan government signed an agreement which China to preserve the institution of the Dalai Lama, local self government, and autonomy within the People's Republic of China. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and settled in India. The Tibetan community abroad now supports an exiled democratic Central Tibetan Administration with executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The Central Tibetan Administration government is based in India.
In 2007, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his efforts for peace and a non-violent resolution of the Tibetan issue. The United States government supports a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government to foster genuine autonomy for Tibetans.
The Department of State's 2008 "Country Report on Human Rights" cited the Chinese government for human rights abuses in Tibetan areas of China, including torture, arbitrary arrest, and repression of speech and religious freedoms.