US Congressional Delegation Including Nancy Pelosi Reach Dharamshala To Visit Dalai Lama

US Congressional Delegation Including Nancy Pelosi Reach Dharamshala To Visit Dalai Lama

US Congressional Delegation Including Nancy Pelosi Reach Dharamshala To Visit Dalai Lama

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A seven-member US Congressional delegation, including former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, arrived at the Dalai Lama Temple in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala on Wednesday to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader. 

The delegation arrived in India on Tuesday for a two-day visit, and was received by officials of the Central Tibetan Administration at Kangra Airport. Other members of the delegation include Congress members Mariannette Miller, Gregory Meeks, Nicole Malliotakis, Jim McGovern and Ami Bera.

The visit comes as US President Joe Biden is set to reportedly sign a legislation that aims to press China to resolve the Tibet dispute. Beijing has been critical of both moves, saying Tibet is an internal matter of China that brooks no interference by external forces, Reuters reported. 

Talking about the visit, Dolma Gyari, the security minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan government-in-exile, told ANI that the message was clear to China “that freedom-loving nations in the world, people who promote peace and justice, support Tibet”. She also added that the US support for Tibetan people is a strong message. She stated that it can be seen as “support for India also”.

McCaul expressed enthusiasm about the visit and was quoted by PTI as saying, “We are excited to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to talk about many things, including the bill passed by Congress which basically says that the United States of America stands with the people of Tibet.”

McCaul said President Joe Biden would soon sign the ‘Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act’, also known as the ‘Resolve Tibet Act’, cleared by the US Congress last week.

According to a Reuters report, the bill aims to push Beijing to hold talks with Tibetan leaders, stalled since 2010, to secure a negotiated agreement on Tibet. It also urges China to address the Tibetan people’s aspirations regarding their historical, cultural, religious and linguistic identity, the report said.

“US lawmakers have regularly visited Dharamsala and touted the work of the Dalai Lama to draw global support for linguistic and cultural autonomy in his remote, mountainous homeland,” the report added. A figure of deep respect among Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is described by China as a separatist. The Central Tibetan Administration and the Dalai Lama say they don’t seek independence for Tibet but bat for “genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet within the framework of the People’s Republic of China”.

‘Tibetan Issue Also Concerns India’

Speaking to ANI, Tenzin Lekshay, spokesperson of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said the US delegation’s visit is a “jubilant” moment for them. He said the US delegation and His Holiness Dalai Lama held a high-level meeting.

“The Resolve Tibet Act, which has already been significantly adopted, is now at the desk of President Biden. So, they are confident that President Biden will soon sign the bill and it will become a law. This is a very important thing for us,” the spokesperson said.

He said China is always unhappy when Tibetans do something, adding that China should introspect “to see that whatever was done over the course of 70 years is not for Tibetans but for China’s good”.

Lekshay added that they were grateful to the Indian government and the public “for all they did for the Tibetans”, saying the Tibetan issue concerns India as well. “So, I think Indian people should also be aware of the Tibetan issue,” he said.

The US delegation’s visit has come at a time when the US and China have sought to stabilise their rocky relations, the Reuters report noted. It comes days before the Dalai Lama’s visit to the US for medical treatment. 



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