Tibetans and supporters in Massachusetts: Call Senator Ed Markey to support Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that is very important for Tibet, and you can make a difference with a simple phone call.

The legislation is called the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. It says that, unless China relaxes its draconian restrictions on travel to Tibet, the Chinese government officials responsible for that policy cannot get a visa to travel to the US. With so many Chinese officials traveling and sending their children to school overseas, this will have a direct impact on those officials.

The bill was originally introduced in the House by Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts. It was introduced in the Senate in April, but has been stalled there due to lack of cosponsors. Senator Leahy of Vermont has just cosponsored, and we are trying to build on this momentum. Please call the office of your Massachusetts Senator, Ed Markey, and ask him to be a cosponsor. You can follow the script below, or add personal touches like a personal example of how hard it is for you, or your Tibetan friends, as American citizens of Tibetan background, to travel to Tibet.

The staff who answer the phones in the Senator’s office speak with constituents all day. This is a normal part of their job, and so please don’t hesitate to call and tell them you are requesting Senator Markey take this action. A staff member will take your message, and every week the Senator will be informed what issues his constituents have called about. These sorts of constituent calls really make a difference, so please call today!

After you call, please consider also going to Senator Markey’s website to follow up with a written message. A sample email is below the sample telephone script.


Sample script

Office of Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
Telephone (202) 224-2742

Hello. My name is [NAME], and I’m a constituent of Senator Markey. I live in [TOWN], Massachusetts. I’m calling to ask Senator Markey to co-sponsor the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which is bill number S. 821.

I’m a member of/have friends in the Tibetan-American community here in [TOWN], and this bill is very important to us/me. This bill addresses the severe restrictions that China places on the ability of Tibetans to travel to Tibet. In my personal experience, as a Tibetan-American/a person with Tibetan friends, China makes it almost impossible to travel to Tibet. And even North Korea, which has an AP press office, is more open to foreign media than Tibet!

So I hope that Senator Markey will co-sponsor the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

[NAME]


Sample email (can be adapted for non-Tibetan friends)

Contact Senator Markey. Choose Foreign Relations from the drop-down menu.

Dear Senator Markey:

I am writing as your constituent to ask that you co-sponsor the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which is bill number S. 821. I recently called your office to make the same request, and wanted to follow up in writing.

As a member of Congress, you have long supported the Tibetan people’s struggle for human rights and freedom. You even met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India in 2008. I would like to thank you very much for this support.

As a member of the Tibetan-American community here in [TOWN], this bill is very important to us. This bill addresses the severe restrictions that China places on travel to Tibet. In my personal experience as a Tibetan-American, China makes it almost impossible to travel to Tibet. And even North Korea, which has an AP press office, is more open to foreign media than Tibet!

I hope, given your long-standing support for Tibet, that you will co-sponsor the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

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