On behalf of the United States, I extend my warmest wishes to all those celebrating Losar here in America, across the Himalayan region, and throughout the world.

At this time of year, Tibetan families will decorate their homes, exchange gifts, and cherish time with friends and family. Fireworks will light the night sky. Tibetans everywhere will strive to embody the Buddha’s teachings.

The United States honors the spirit and resilience of Tibetans around the globe, and we’re proud to host so many supporters of the Tibetan community at the State Department’s event today.

Americans believe in the rights of all people, no matter who they are or where they are born, to speak their own language and practice their own faith. That’s why we remain firm in our resolve to defend and promote the human rights of Tibetans – including efforts to preserve and pass on the community’s distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious heritage. Tibetans must be able to select their religious leaders free from interference; to live without fear of repression; and to practice the rich traditions – including this Losar holiday – that Tibetans have for centuries.

Our Under Secretary of State, Uzra Zeya, has led our work to advance the rights and humanitarian needs of Tibetans this past year. We have made real progress to highlight Tibetan issues.

But there is much more work to be done.

So during this time of celebration – a period when Tibetans believe that the impact of our individual acts of virtue are multiplied – we recommit to working alongside the global Tibetan community to support and strengthen the rights and heritage of Tibetans.

May the Year of the Water Hare bring you peace, prosperity, and longevity. Tashi delek.

U.S. Department of State

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