I trace the beginning of the Tibetan Resistance Movement from 1949 during the presidency of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States (1945 to 1953).
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay entered the United States White House this afternoon on November 21, 2020 — a historic feat. This is the first time in the last 6 decades the head of the Central Tibetan Administration has been invited into the White House.
In the last 6 decades, the head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was denied entry to the US State Department and the White House; the logic for both denials was that the US government does not recognize the Tibetan government in exile. Today’s visit amounts to an acknowledgement of both the democratic system of the CTA and its political head.
Dr. Sangay met with White House officials. Prior to this meeting, Dr. Sangay had met with White House officials in undisclosed meetings and locations over a dozen times in the past 10 years since he became the CTA’s Sikyong in 2011. This unprecedented meeting perhaps will set an optimistic tone for CTA participation with US officials and be more formalized in the coming years.
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Tibetan political leader visits White House for first time in six decades
By Reuters Staff
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The head of the Tibetan government in exile has visited the U.S. White House for the first time in six decades, a move that could further infuriate Beijing, which has accused the United States of trying to destabilise the region.
Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), was invited to the White House to meet the newly appointed U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Robert Destro, on Friday, the CTA said in a press release.
“This unprecedented meeting perhaps will set an optimistic tone for CTA participation with U.S. officials and be more formalised in the coming years,” said the CTA, which is based in India’s Dharamshala.
Tibet has become one of the areas of dispute between the United States and China, with relations between the world’s two biggest economies at their lowest point in decades.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Beijing in July of violating Tibetan human rights and said Washington supported “meaningful autonomy” for the region.
Beijing officials have since accused the United States of using Tibet to try to promote “splittism” in China. China has also refused to engage with the Dalai Lama.
China seized control over Tibet in 1950 in what it described as a “peaceful liberation” that helped it throw off its “feudalist past”, but critics led by the exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama say Beijing’s rule amounts to “cultural genocide”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in August that China needed to build an “impregnable fortress” in Tibet in order to protect national unity.