Dharamsala, July 8 (IANS) The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) President Lobsang Sangay on Wednesday expressed gratitude to the United States for imposing visa restrictions on Chinese officials under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
“Thank you for the support,” Sangay said in a tweet, tagging US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweet.
“Today I announced visa restrictions on PRC (Peoples Republic of China) officials involved in restricting foreigners’ access to Tibet. We will continue to seek reciprocity in our relationship,” Pompeo tweeted on Tuesday.
“Tibetan areas are increasingly vital to regional stability, given the PRC’s human rights abuses there, as well as Beijing’s failure to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of Asia’s major rivers,” the US Secretary of State said in a statement.
He said under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, PRC government and CCP officials determined to be “substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas” will be issued visa sanctions.
The announcement came a day after Tibetans and supporters worldwide marked the 85th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“The United States will continue to work to advance the sustainable economic development, environmental conservation, and humanitarian conditions of Tibetan communities within the People’s Republic of China and abroad,” Pompeo said.
He said the US remains committed to supporting meaningful autonomy for Tibetans, respect for their fundamental and unalienable human rights, and the preservation of their unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity.
Reaffirming Washington’s continued support to the Tibetan cause, US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Ian Juster, on July 6 greeted Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on his 85th birthday by admiring his tireless efforts to seek freedom for Tibetans and bringing an end to strife and hostility around the world.
“The esteem in which you are held by the people of the United States is a demonstration of the deep and enduring affinity between Americans and Tibetans, beginning with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who sent you the gift of a pocket-watch when you were a young boy,” Juster said in a video message.
The Tibetan exile administration, known as the Central Tibetan Administration and headed by democratically elected Lobsang Sangay, is based in this northern Indian hill town.