US Ignores Beijing’s Opposition to His Holiness’ Visit
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama with US President George W. Bush in May, 2001, file photo|
Dharamsala, 29 August 2003: With a series of objections raised by China over the forthcoming visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the United Sates, the United States today brushed aside the criticisms from Beijing saying that ‘the revered religious leader would meet appropriate US officials during his Holiness’ visit next month’.
” The Dalai Lama is a Nobel laureate and revered religious leader. Obviously in this trip he will meet with appropriate US officials in his capacity as a religious leader”, the Press Trust of India quoted State Department Spokesman Philip Reeker as saying.
Earlier, an AP report indicated a possible meeting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Meanwhile, Tenzin Takhla, the press secretary of the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, told tibet.net that His Holiness would meet with senior officials and congressional leaders during His Holiness’ three-day halt in Washington.
Reeker told reporters in Washington that His Holiness the Dalai Lama would take part in ceremonies marking the September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
The White House, however, declined to comment on the possible meeting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and George Bush.
Beijing had requested the US to abide by its promise to recognise Tibet as a part of China and prevent His Holiness from visiting US and engage in ‘splittist activities’.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will tour US from September 4 to 24.