Dharamsala– Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) President Lobsang Sangay on Thursday hailed US President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a visa ban on Chinese officials who deny American citizens, government officials and journalists access to Tibet.
Trump on December 19 signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 that will impose the visa ban.
“The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Law will not only make the perpetrators of human rights violations accountable but also bolster institutional and diplomatic engagement on Tibet,” Sangay said in a statement.
“Again I thank the US Congress for passing the landmark bill and International Campaign of Tibet and everyone who contributed to making this a reality,” Sangay said.
“This is a very courageous step and sends the right message of hope and justice to Tibetans in Tibet,” he said.
“On behalf of six million Tibetans, I extend profound appreciation to the President for signing the bill into law,” the CTA President added.
The new law will require the Department of State to report to the Congress annually regarding the level of access Chinese authorities granted US diplomats, journalists, and tourists to Tibetan areas in China.
According to Human Rights Watch’s 2018 Annual Report, the Chinese government continues to “severely restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly, and fail to redress popular concerns about mining and land grabs by local officials.”
Since 2014, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in coordination with Tibetan-American associations and Tibet support groups had led the effort to approve the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.
The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern Indian hill town. (IANS)