US Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for an independent outside investigation into China’s allegation about the Dalai Lama’s involvement in the Tibetan demonstrations in Tibet. Pelosi asked the world to speak out against China’s oppression in Tibet saying not doing so would mean a loss of all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights.
In remarks during her first-ever visit to Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, on March 21,2008, the news agency IANS reports Pelosi as saying, “An independent outside investigation should be ordered into allegations by China that the Dalai Lama, an epitome of non-violence, was behind the violence in Tibet.”
“Today we are here at this sad time together in shedding the bright light of truth on what is happening inside Tibet,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi recalled the history of the United States’ relationship with the Dalai Lama and said, “The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world, it is a challenge of the world that I hope we can help meet. It is a situation where we need to know what is happening there and the world needs to know. And so we come here and say to you, we are with you to meet that challenge.”
“If freedom loving people throughout the world do not speak out against China’s oppression in China and Tibet, we have lost all moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” Pelosi told a gathering in Mcleod Ganj, the area in Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama resides.
“The US is for encouraging a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Beijing. China should engage in high-level dialogues,” media reports quote Pelosi as saying.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on the trip, also expressed his support for the Tibetan people.
“In the U.S. Congress, there is no division between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of protecting Tibetan culture and eliminating repression against Tibetans around the world,” AP quotes him as saying.
Pelosi led a group of members of Congress to Dharamsala in a trip that was planned before the present uprising in Tibet began. Upon their arrival at the Tsuglakhang, the Central Cathedral, located beside the Dalai Lama’s residence in McLeod Ganj, the Speaker and the delegation were received by the Dalai Lama, Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament Karma Chophel, and other members of the Tibetan leadership in exile. Pelosi and the Dalai Lama first entered the Tsuglakhang before coming out to address the large gathering.
The Dalai Lama hosted a lunch for the delegation. The Speaker and her around 40 member delegation left Dharamsala for Delhi in the evening.