On June 21 last year, US Congress members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) petitioned President Trump to quickly name a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
But according to the US Department of State website, this position is still vacant. Appointing a Special Coordinator for Tibet, though, is just one important step in solving the rights crisis of Tibetans.
First and foremost the TLHRC and US Congress should realise that the human rights problems in Tibet can be overcome much more easily if India plays a proactive role. The Indian government currently has little interest in helping resolve the problem of Chinese repression over the border. Likewise the millions of Tibetans living abroad have mainly lost interest in the plight of Tibet since nothing has happened during the past 60 years to solve the problem. The impetus for change is coming from within China, among the 3 million to 6 million Tibetans who live there. But change will only come via a political solution that has the backing of the US (Congress and the administration) as we’ll as other international actors. Fortunately there are many Indians who are prepared to work towards, and even prepared to take pains in, solving the Tibet problem.
The TLHRC should again urge President Trump to name a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, but also to support any registered organisation in India (political or otherwise) – preferably through the National Rights Commission of India – which will work for the solution of the Tibet problem. Such organisations should also be able to spur the government of India into taking a proactive role.
Hem Raj Jain (Author of “Betrayal of Americanism”)