By Tenzin Dharpo
Bipartisan US Delegation arrives at the Gaggal airport, Dharamshala. May 9, 2017. Photo- VOT
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 9: The much awaited US delegation led by House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi touched down at the Gaggal airport earlier this morning for a two day (May 9-10) visit to Dharamshala, the virtual capital of the Tibetan exile diaspora.
The eight-member bipartisan delegation of Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel, Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu, Joyce Beatty and Pramila Jayapal, was received at the airport by exile Tibetan government’s cabinet secretary Topgyal Tsering, secretary for International Relations Sonam Dagpo and secretary for information Dhardon Sharling.
The US delegation met the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the latter’s residence in McLeod Ganj earlier today, and will also tour the seat of Tibetan government in exile (officially known as Central Tibetan Administration).
HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama hosts a luncheon reception for members of the Bipartisan US Congressional delegation at his residence in Dharamsala, May 9, 2017, Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Tomorrow the exile government will organize a public felicitation in honor of the congressional delegation’s visit to Dharamshala in the presence of HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama. The delegation today visited the Tibetan Children's Village School here.
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said “The CTA is honored to welcome the second visit by a high-level bipartisan delegation of the U.S. Congress led by leader Nancy Pelosi to Dharamshala after nine years.”
The same US delegation yesterday visited Jwalakhel Tibetan settlement in Kathmandu, Nepal where according to the CTA website, Representative Pelosi described the main purpose of visiting Nepal as the assessment of the problems and challenges facing Tibetan refugees in Nepal particularly over the issuance of refugee and resident certificates to Tibetans.
In Nov, 2015, House Minority leader Pelosi also led a US Congressional delegation in a rare access into Tibet where representatives Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum and Joyce Beatty were also present.
Earlier in 2008, the 77-year-old US lawmaker, who is a big critic of China’s human rights abuse in Tibet and a great supporter of the exiled Tibetan leader, last visited Dharamshala with nine congressmen.