By Tenzin Dharpo
The Dalai Lama with the visiting Congressional delegation at his residence in Dharamshala on August 3, 2019. Photo- Tenzin Choejor_OHHDL
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 3: Visiting delegation from the United States House of Representatives on Saturday met with the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his residence here, reaffirming their friendship and solidarity with the Tibetan people and their exile based democratic institutions.
Six US Congressmen led by the House Democracy Partnership (HDP) Chairman Rep. David Price, Co-Chair Rep. Vern Buchanan and other members Rep. Susan Davis, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Neal Dunn and Rep. John Rutherford had a luncheon reception with the Tibetan leader along with the President and Speaker of the exile Tibetan government. The Dalai Lama while thanking the delegation for their visit also urged representatives of the US government to shoulder further responsibilities being the “leading nation of the free world”.
HDP Chairman Congressman Price said, “We wanted to pay our respect and express our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people for the inspiration they have been to us and the entire world”.
Congressman and Vice-chair Vern Buchanan said, “Our goal is to build our friendship and partnership that we have built over many years and to take that relationship to another level”, during his meeting with the Dalai Lama.
The delegation also paid a visit to the Tsuglakhang temple and branches of the exile Tibetan government which is known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, the Kashag Secretariat and the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.
Tibetan President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said that the delegation’s visit to the exile base is politically a strong expression, in that the American government and its machinery are willing to continue their support for the Tibetan people. “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the delegation for visiting us”, said President Sangay.
In 2017, another high-level US Congressional delegation led by the then House Minority leader and the incumbent Speaker of the House of the Representative visited Dharamshala, in what was also seen as a strong message to the exile Tibetan set up, in terms of US government’s support.