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China not serious about resolving Tibet dispute, say US Congressmen

By Lalit K Jha in Washington D.C
March 13, 2009 14:38 IST
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Undeterred by the strong protest lodged by Beijing on a Tibet resolution introduced in the United States Congress, the American lawmakers have said that China is not serious in resolving the Tibet dispute.

"After eight rounds of fruitless meetings between the Chinese government and representatives of Dalai Lama, it appears to many of us that China is not serious about achieving resolution of this difficult issue," Congressman Howard R Berman, said on the floor of the House on Wednesday.

Berman is the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing had raised a strong objection on a Congressional resolution on Tibet, which was debated in the House of Representative on Wednesday.

Opposing the non-binding Congressional resolution, a spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry, said in Beijing, "We urge relevant US congressmen to respect facts, abandon prejudices, exert their due morality and responsibility as political figures, and stop pushing forward relevant resolution."

In an apparent reference to such a statement coming from Beijing, Berman said, "I know that many of our friends in China are distressed by the continued congressional focus on Tibet. To them I say this resolution is not anti-Chinese."

Observing that the situation in Tibet challenges the conscience of the world, House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "If freedom-loving people around the world do not speak out for human rights in China and Tibet, then we lose moral authority to talk about it in any other place in the world."

With the Chinese foreign minister in US, who gave a strong statement against Dalai Lama, Pelosi said, "The US Congress has a message for the foreign minister of China's communist regime and that is that Dalai Lama is not only a religious figure, but a person of such renown that he was granted the Congressional gold medal."

"I was honoured to serve as one of the sponsors for this legislation awarding Dalai Lama the Congressional cold medal during the last Congress," Pelosi added.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen alleged that China is the world's worst human rights abuser. The regime in Beijing is the oppressor of this actually peace-loving people on the other side of the world, the Tibetan people, she said.

Congressman Rush Holt urged the Chinese government to engage in a constructive dialogue with Dalai Lama in a sustained effort to craft a permanent and just solution that protects the rights and dignity of all Tibetans

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Lalit K Jha in Washington D.C
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