Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to Uzra Zeya to congratulate her on being appointed the US’ Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.
He expressed the hope that she will be able to contribute significantly towards improving the situation of the Tibetan people.
“As I have had the opportunity to express to successive American leaders,” he wrote in the letter, “a continued and consistent American support has been a source of great encouragement to Tibetans in our peaceful struggle for freedom and dignity. Although I have handed over political authority to an elected Tibetan leadership, I remain concerned about the survival of the Tibetan identity, our distinctive culture and heritage and the protection of Tibet’s fragile natural environment. I am pleased to see that in your first remarks, you mentioned that these will be your priorities.
“As you are aware, there has been widespread international interest in and support for the peaceful struggle of the Tibetan people, whose rich culture of non-violence and compassion has so much potential to contribute to the world. I remain confident that in the long term, the power of truth will prevail.
“I look forward to meeting you and exchanging views on issues that can benefit from your support and initiatives. I am sure you will be in close contact with our elected Tibetan leadership.”
His Holiness stated that he is encouraged to see that in addition to co-ordinating Tibetan issues, concern for democracy is also part of Zeya’s portfolio and that the US recently held a democracy summit.
He concluded, “I firmly believe the United States can play a leadership role in promoting awareness of the fundamental values of democracy, freedom, and human rights.”
The Biden administration has designated Under Secretary Uzra Zeya to serve concurrently as the US Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues.
The Indian-American currently serves as Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human rights — a position that has traditionally doubled as the special coordinator. The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 mandates the appointment of the special coordinator.
According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “I have designated Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Uzra Zeya to serve concurrently as the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, an important role she will take on effective immediately.
“She will also continue to serve as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, a position for which she was sworn in on July 14, 2021.”
Zeya will coordinate the US government policies, programmes, and projects concerning Tibetan issues, consistent with the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, as amended by the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, said Blinken in a statement.