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The 51st Anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising

Today, on the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, we honor the many brave Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and the aspirations of the Tibetan people to live in peace.

51 years ago today, the people of Lhasa peacefully assembled and called for an end to harsh Chinese rule in Tibet. The ensuing crackdown was brutal, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced into exile.

For more than five decades, Tibetans have waited for peaceful evolution and democratic reforms that would usher in a brighter future in China and Tibet. The dialogue continues between Tibetan envoys and Chinese officials, but there has not been any substantive progress. A negotiated agreement is essential and it would ensure internal stability in Tibet and bolster China's reputation in the world.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has not won the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people and attempts to drive a wedge between the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people have been counterproductive for the Chinese government. Tibetans are as devoted to their beliefs as ever and the bond with His Holiness the Dalai Lama is unbreakable.

It is long past time for Beijing to work toward a solution that respects the human rights of all Tibetans.

President Obama is to be commended for his meeting with the Dalai Lama at the White House last month. The meeting marked another chapter in the long friendship and close ties between the United States and the people of Tibet. We will continue to stand with His Holiness to promote, preserve, and protect the rights of all people to live in freedom worldwide.

On the 51st anniversary of the Dalai Lama being forced into exile, we heed his transcendent message of peace, and we remember the people of Tibet in their ongoing struggle.

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