Tibet Sun Newsroom
McLEOD GANJ, India, 25 November 2020
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has been awarded the Free Spirit Award 2020 in McLeod Ganj, the headquarters of Tibetans in exile in India.
Announcing the name of Pelosi during a press conference, the Director of the Award, Lobsang Wangyal, said that Pelosi was the winner for this year for her outstanding support for the Tibetan cause, and raising her voice wherever there are social injustices and human rights abuses around the world.
“Nancy Pelosi is a global icon of peace, justice, and freedom. She openly and frankly raises her voice wherever there are injustices and human rights abuses,” Wangyal said.
He said that Pelosi has espoused various causes for decades, and Tibet has been on top of her list among the causes she supports. She criticises the Chinese government over their human rights abuses in Tibet, and calls on them to continue to have dialogue to resolve the Tibetan issue for a meaningful autonomy in the Himalayan region.
Pelosi has visited McLeod Ganj twice, in 2008 and 2017, meeting with the Dalai Lama and officials of the exile administration, and spoke in strong terms of her support for the Tibetan cause, saying that the free world will have lost its moral authority to speak about human rights if it did not speak up against Chinese oppression in Tibet. “The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world.”
As a critic of China for decades on issues such as trade and human rights, Pelosi has ratcheted up pressure on China over its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in East Turkistan, where China has reportedly incarcerated over a million people in forced labour and concentration camps. Similarly, she has unequivocally criticised the Chinese government for imprisoning and violently silencing Hong Kong democracy activists, and advocates for the rule of law in Hong Kong.
Nancy Pelosi has been serving as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 2019, and before that from 2007 to 2011. Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in US history to serve as Speaker and, until the election of Kamala Harris as Vice President, was the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history. As House Speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
The organisers of the Free Spirit Award thanked Pelosi for her unwavering care and support for the Tibetan people, and for speaking out against injustice everywhere around the world. They wished her a long, happy, and healthy life.
The Free Spirit Award was created in 2003 to honour and show appreciation for the efforts of people working for peace, justice, and social and environmental issues around the world. The annual award is marked by presentation of a certificate with an inscription summing up the work of the distinguished receiver.