DHARAMSALA, 28 Dec: US President Donald Trump has signed into law the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, a bill entailing sanctions against Chinese officials interfering with the selection of the 15th Dalai Lama and to deepen US’ support for Tibet among others.
“History made again! President Trump signs the Omnibus bill, which means the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 is now LAW!” The President of the Central Tibetan Administration(CTA) Dr Lobsang Sangay tweeted after President Trump put pen to paper on the bill.
President Sangay has further lauded the TPSA as “a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet” that bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before,” reports tibet.net, the official website of CTA.
After holding out for an increased stimulus cheque for struggling Americans, the white house has confirmed President Trump had signed the bill shortly after he tweeted: “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow,” media reports said.
“On behalf of the CTA and six million Tibetans, I extend the deepest gratitude to President Trump for signing the profoundly historic bill. I would also like thank once again the US Congress for passing the bill, especially the bill sponsors Senators Marco Rubio and Ben Cardin; and Congressmen Jim McGovern and Chris Smith for introducing in the House and Senate. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this a reality,” President Sangay has said.
The legislation declares that the official US policy on the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist leaders are exclusively religious issues that the Tibetan Buddhist community should decide on and under the bill, any Chinese officials who attempt to interfere in this process could face sanctions that could include having their assets frozen and their entry to the US denied.
The TPSA 2020 builds on the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, a landmark legislation that enshrined support for Tibet in US law also includes other purposes such as a ban on establishing any new Chinese consulates in the US until a US consulate is established in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet while calling on the special coordinator for Tibetan issues in the State Department to build international diplomatic coalitions that will oppose any effort by China to interfere in the Dalai Lama’s succession.
TPSA, the bipartisan bill was approved by the US Congress last week.