(TibetanReview.net, Dec08, 2017) – Arriving Dec 6 on his first visit to the US capital since ousting former representative at the Office of Tibet, Mr Penpa Tsering, President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at Dharamshala, India, has held meetings with two prominent US Senators with support from Hollywood star and Tibet activist Richard Gere.
On his first day, President Sangay has held an hour-long meeting with Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham on the Capitol Hill, joined by Richard Gere and Matteo Mecacci, Board Chair and President respectively of the city-based International Campaign for Tibet, as well as the new representative Mr Ngodup Tsering.
CTA said on its Tibet.net website Dec 7 that the issues discussed included growing Chinese influence in the world, US funding for Tibet related programmes, need for a speedy appointment of the special coordinator for Tibetan issues in the State Department, and the Reciprocal Access to Tibet bill which was recently introduced in the House.
The report said the two Senators actively engaged in the deliberation and provided useful guidance while reiterating their support.
Tibet.net further said President Sangay also met with various leaders and policy makers during the day and would continue to advocate the Tibet issue in Washington, DC over the next two days.
Tibet.net also said Dec 6 that the new representative for North America at the Office of Tibet had earlier meet with Congressman Jim McGovern, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and Nita Lowey, ranking member on the House Committee on Appropriations. He was also stated to have met staff of Senate Appropriations committee and senior staff of Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in connection with funding support.
* * *
Meanwhile, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported Dec 7 that a National People’s Congress delegation of legislators from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) had wrapped up a five-day visit to the United States on Dec 6. It said the delegation, led by Danzeng Langjie, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of the TAR, had visited Boston and Washington, where it met with US Congress members, Chinese students studying overseas and US scholars.
The delegation was stated to have held a press conference in Washington on Dec 5 afternoon, answering questions about TAR’s poverty alleviation efforts and the protection and development of its traditional culture. Senators Steve Daines (R) and John Barrasso (R) and Representatives Darin LaHood (R) and Rick Larsen (D) were shown as the US lawmakers the delegation held meetings with.
China’s official chinadaily.com.cn said Dec 7 that the delegation had invited US lawmakers to visit TAR.