• | 1:00 pm

US Congressional delegation to visit India, meet Dalai Lama

While in India, the bipartisan delegation will meet the 14th Dalai Lama, government officials, and representatives of US businesses 

US Congressional delegation to visit India, meet Dalai Lama
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

A  bipartisan US congressional delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul is visiting India this week to meet Indian officials and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The delegation includes former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Gregory W. Meeks, House Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific Ranking Member Ami Bera (D-CA), and Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), according to a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Committee. 

While the statement did not mention the dates of the visit, the Press Trust of India reported, citing people aware of the developments, that the delegation would be in Dharamsala on 18-19 June.

While in India, the delegation will meet the 14th Dalai Lama, Indian government officials, and representatives of US businesses in the country.

“India is the world’s largest democracy and an important strategic partner of the United States,” McCaul, a Democrat, said. 

“I look forward to meeting with government officials and the American business community to learn how we can continue to strengthen our relationship with India. I am also honored to have the opportunity to meet with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Tibetans are a democracy-loving people who wish to practice their religion freely. This visit should highlight the bipartisan support in the US Congress for Tibet to have a say in their own future,” he added.

Meeks said he was looking forward to joining Chairman McCaul and Pelosi to demonstrate the strong bipartisan support for the US-India relationship.

“Over the past 25 years, our relationship with India has transformed to become one of the United States most consequential. I’m also honored to have a chance to meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to hear his views on how the American People can help advance the Tibetan people’s struggle for autonomy.”

A Buddhist spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed anti-Chinese uprising in 1959,  and came to India where he set up the government-in-exile and became its permanent head of state. 

China has accused the Dalai Lama of indulging in “separatist” activities and has even launched a crackdown on the Tibetan movement. The Dalai Lama has, however, insisted that he is not seeking independence but “genuine autonomy for all Tibetans living in the three traditional provinces of Tibet” under the “Middle-Way approach”.

The Tibetan cause has a strong bipartisan support in the US with successive administrations condemning China’s crackdown on Tibetan movement. 

More Top Stories: