US Senator Nancy Pelosi to lead high-powered Congressional delegation to meet Dalai Lama in India

US senator Nancy Pelosi will be leading a seven-member delegation of Congressmen to Dharamsala in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh to meet Tibetan leader-in-exile Dalai Lama next week.

Published: 05th May 2017 09:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2017 09:41 PM   |  A+A-

Nancy Pelosi | AP

By Express News Service

US senator Nancy Pelosi will be leading a seven-member delegation of Congressmen to Dharamsala in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh to meet Tibetan leader-in-exile Dalai Lama next week.

An official of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said that Pelosi, a Democratic party leader in the House of Representatives and a long-time supporter of the Tibetan cause, will meet the Dalai Lama on May 9 and 10, whom China views as a hostile element bent on splitting Tibet from China. 

She will be accompanied by Congressmen Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu, Joyce Beatty, Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel and Pramila Jayapal.

The delegation from US will also meet Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay and other CTA functionaries. Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said, “The CTA is honored to welcome the first visit by a high-level bipartisan delegation of the US Congress to Dharamsala and the second visit of leader Nancy Pelosi since March 2008.”

The last time Pelosi came to meet Dalai Lama was in 2008 when she was the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Interestingly, her last visit coincided with anti-China protests that had spread to other parts from Lhasa in Tibet and China had used force to suppress the rioters. 

The CTA will be organising a public felicitation in honor of the US delegation and the Dalai Lama will grace the event on May 10 at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharamshala, located close to the spiritual leader’s palace.

Out of the seven members of the delegation, four members - Pelosi, McGovern, McCollum and Beatty - were part of the Congressional delegation that visited Tibet in November 2015.

Pelosi played major role in the US government’s decision in 2007 to honour the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Gold Medal, a top US civilian honour. China had at time protested against the move.

The Dalai Lama, who has been demanding greater autonomy for Tibetans, lives in exile along with some 140,000 Tibetans, out of which over 100,000 are in India. 

Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet. The Tibetan exile administration is not recognised by any country.

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