SUPPORTING TIBET
(House of Representatives - May 02, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 75 (Tuesday, May 2, 2017)]
[Page H3006]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                            SUPPORTING TIBET

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about something 
that I hold near and dear to my heart: the plight of the people of 
Tibet and of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
  The forced exile of His Holiness is a source of profound sorrow for 
the people of Tibet. For over 60 years, the Communist regime in Beijing 
has refused to allow this kind, compassionate man to come home, while 
systematically persecuting the Tibetan people, denying them even the 
most basic human rights and freedom, and implementing policies designed 
to wipe out the culture of Tibet.
  In 2007, I authored legislation that paved the way for Congress to 
award the Congressional Medal of Honor to the Dalai Lama. A decade 
later, I am concerned that issues in Tibet are being pushed to the 
sidelines, a mistake that could have profound consequences not only for 
Tibet, but for the entire Asian Continent.
  Known as the ``Roof of the World,'' the Tibetan plateau is the source 
of many of Asia's major rivers, making the Chinese regime's threat to 
Tibet's stability a strategically important security issue for the 
entire region.
  Last month, I was proud to join Congressman McGovern in sending a 
letter in support of the appointment of a Special Coordinator for 
Tibetan Issues at the State Department. I am also proud to cosponsor 
Mr. McGovern's bill, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which is 
designed to help stop China's destabilizing behavior in Tibet by 
revoking the visa of any Chinese official found to be responsible for 
restricting the access of U.S. citizens to Tibet.
  Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Richard Gere, an 
activist who helps to bring more attention and awareness to this very 
important matter. As His Holiness has said: ``In the practice of 
tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.''
  It is essential, Mr. Speaker, that we in Congress advocate on behalf 
of the people of Tibet and join forces to combat the Chinese regime's 
increasing aggression.


                     Israel's 69th Independence Day

  Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, today marks the democratic Jewish 
State of Israel's 69th Independence Day.
  For the Jewish people to have not only survived the Holocaust and the 
Nazi effort to eradicate them from the planet and then to establish a 
state of their own in their historical and biblical homeland is nothing 
short of a miracle. And in just seven decades, not only has Israel 
arisen, it has thrived, becoming one of the world's great democracies 
and the epicenter of high tech all over the world.
  I am frequently asked: Why Israel? Why do I so strongly support 
Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance? It is because, in Israel, I see a 
nation and a people who share the same ideals and the same values that 
we in America have: two societies committed to freedom, committed to 
democracy, and that understand the need to protect those ideals. Simply 
put, Mr. Speaker, defending Israel's right to exist is defending the 
values that we cherish so greatly and our way of life that we hold 
dear.
  So to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to the people of Israel, I wish 
you all the very best on all that you have accomplished and achieved, 
and may the Jewish state be blessed with peace and security for many 
years to come.
  I also want to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the Falic family--
Simon, Jana, and Tila Falic--for their kind invitation to celebrate 
this momentous occasion in south Florida. I know how deeply the Falics 
care for the U.S.-Israel alliance and just how much they have done for 
that partnership as well as for south Florida's Jewish community, so I 
am sure that those events were great. Thank you to the Falic family.

  I wish all who celebrated this morning at the Hebrew Academy in Miami 
Beach, located in my congressional district, a very happy new year. I 
know that last night's ceremony to commemorate Israel's Memorial Day 
meant so much to the community. How special is it, Mr. Speaker, that 
Israel commemorates their fallen the night before they celebrate what 
their fallen helped to establish and to protect?
  I hope that all of my colleagues will join me in sending our friends 
in Israel warm wishes today.
  Mazel tov.

                          ____________________