Exiled Tibetans congratulate Obama over re-election as U.S. President, seek Tibetan issue solution
Exiled Tibetans living in Dharamsala on Wednesday congratulated President Barack Obama on his re-election.
President Obama won a second term in the White House on Tuesday, overcoming deep doubts among voters about his handling of the U.S. economy. He scored a clear victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Obama, America's first black president, won by convincing voters to stick with him as he tries to reignite strong economic growth and recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. An uneven recovery has been showing some signs of strength but the country's 7.9 percent jobless rate remains stubbornly high.
Americans chose to stick with a divided government in Washington, by keeping the Democratic incumbent in the White House and leaving the U.S. Congress as it is, with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans keeping the House of Representatives.
Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in-exile, Penpa Tsering, said that he hoped that after being re-elected as the president of the U.S. Obama would take adequate steps to address the woes of the Tibetans.
"We know President Obama's position on China but now that he already was in the office for the last four years, it would, I am sure contribute towards strengthening America's position inside China or on China. And with the change of leadership in China also the US government has been very supportive for the Tibetan issue for long time and in President Obama's second term we really hope that he will be more stronger, considering the gravity of situation inside Tibet, 63 people have already self immolated and 52 have already succumbed to the injuries," said Tsering.
Obama told thousands of supporters in Chicago who cheered his every word "we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back" and that for America, the best is yet to come.
He vowed to listen to both sides of the political divide in the weeks ahead and said he would return to the White House more determined than ever to confront America's challenges.
The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined two billion dollars.
Romney, the multimillionaire former private equity executive, came back from a series of campaign stumbles to make it close after besting the president in the first of three presidential debates.
At least 120 million American voters had been expected to cast votes in the race between the Democratic incumbent and Romney after a campaign that was focused on how to repair the ailing U.S. economy.
The same problems that dogged Obama in his first term are still there to confront him again. He faces a difficult task of tackling 1 trillion dollars annual deficits, reducing a 16 trillion dollars national debt, overhauling expensive social programs and dealing with a gridlocked U.S. Congress that kept the same partisan makeup.
A Tibetan youth and an activist, Lobsang said majority of Tibetans are happy with Obama's win as he talks about peace and as well as about strengthening the country's economy.
"Majority of the Tibetans are very happy because he is good for the world. He is from the liberal party and he talks about reducing war and bringing back American soldiers from the war areas, where America is involved and he is also talking about bringing America's economy step by step level and bringing more jobs, these are all very good. So, he is good for the world and he is also talking about reducing nuclear weapons so which is also very good for the world," said Lobsang.
Tensions over Tibet are at their highest in years after a spate of protests over Chinese rule and self-immolations by Tibetan activists, which have prompted a Chinese security crackdown.
The surge in self-immolations in China in protest over its rule in Tibet has heightened tension in recent months. Indian-based rights groups said there had been a massive security clampdown in Tibet and Tibetan areas of China, and in some instances protesters were beaten even as they were ablaze.
China rejects criticism that it is eroding Tibetan culture and faith, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region. China has ruled Tibet since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its "peaceful liberation".
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising, has accused China of "cultural genocide". Beijing considers him a separatist and does not trust his insistence that he only wants greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
Beijing has branded the Dalai Lama a separatist and accused him of inciting protests against Chinese rule in Tibet, including more than 60 self-immolations in and around the region since March 2011. Beijing denounces the self-immolations as acts by terrorists and criminals.
The Dalai Lama denies he is a separatist and says he only wants meaningful autonomy for his Himalayan region. He made no direct comment on the self-immolations or last week's United Nations report that urged China to address deep-rooted frustrations that have led to such desperate forms of protest by Tibetans.
China's current Vice-President, Xi Jinping, is expected to take over from President Hu Jintao as Communist Party head at a congress opening in Beijing on November 08) and will then become president in March in a generational leadership change.