Dharamshala: The Central Tibetan Administration hosted a grand welcome reception for the six bipartisan Congressional delegation of the U.S House Democracy Partnership at T-building in Gangchen Kyishong.
Heads of the three pillars of democratic Tibetan administration in exile, representatives of the three Autonomous bodies of CTA, Kalons of various CTA departments, officials and staff of CTA filled the auditorium to pay their respect and expressed their gratitude to the Congressional delegation.
President Dr Lobsang Sangay convened the event by delivering a welcome speech to honour the visit of the delegation. Recounting on the series of events participated by the delegation, President Sangay remarked that the meeting of the delegation with His Holiness was the most consequential part of their two-day engagements in Dharamshala beside other notable events.
He further remarked that for someone like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who gets up at 2:30 am daily who follows a systematic schedule every day, and despite that His Holiness today dedicated much of his time interacting with the delegation is certainly special and meaningful.
President reminded the gathering that His Holiness parting message to the delegation exemplifies the strengthening love and respect shared between the Americans and Tibetans.
He quoted His Holiness message which said, “today we will separate physically by saying goodbyes but in spirit, we will remain united”.
Meanwhile, His Holiness also urged the delegation to support the Tibetans so long their movement remains moral and non-violent.
President also reminded that the presence of such high-level Congressional delegation in Dharamshala is sending a strong positive message to Beijing that democracy is inevitable and universal.
He pointed out that the presence of delegation in Dharamshala where three pillars of Tibetan democratic government in exile is seated signifies that democracy and human rights are the values that need to be embraced and supported.
“For the Tibetans inside Tibet, your presence reassures and reaffirms their belief in the just cause of Tibet by sending them hope and inspiration”, asserted President Sangay.
By doing so, President was optimistic that Tibetans inside Tibet will regain their momentum to keep on going until freedom is restored in Tibet until His Holiness returns to Tibet.
President Sangay also declared that the Tibetans inside Tibet will continue to look up to the U.S for their support based on today’s visit.
President Dr Lobsang Sangay once again extended the heartfelt gratitude to the six members U.S Congressional delegation and remarked how honoured and privileged CTA is for hosting them in Dharamshala.
Congressman and Chairman of the U.S House Democracy Partnership, David Price addressed the gathering while acknowledging their visit as a productive and encouraging one.
In his noteworthy address, Chairman David Price drew attention to the special greeting sent by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S House of Representatives who also visited Dharamshala along with an eight-member bipartisan delegation in the year 2017.
Congressman Price enunciated Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decades’ long effort in championing the cause of human rights in China.
Congressman Price informed that their visit to Dharamshala was particularly facilitated and encouraged by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and therefore it was utmost important that he conveys the Speaker’s greeting to the gathering.
He remarked that meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and listening to his profound wisdom over the prolonged luncheon was the icing on the cake beside other eventful programs.
“The experience of meeting with Holiness will never be forgotten by us as it was indeed an honour of a lifetime”, affirmed Congressman David Price.
Recounting on the number of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the U.S, Congressman David most remembers His Holiness address to a joint session of the Congress because that time he had just become a Congressman.
However, Congressman David claimed that today’s meeting with His Holiness since their last meeting will forever be etched in their memories.
And for that, Congressman David thanked CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay for arranging the meeting.
Congressman announced that the people of U.S are honoured to support the Tibetan communities in India and Nepal. He extended their support in realising the goal of Tibetans in achieving self-reliance and sustainability.
He also reported on Vice-chair Vern Buchanan led bipartisan members visit to Nepal 4 years ago and assured the collective votes and advocacy of U.S Congress in the support of Tibetans for their rights to safeguard their distinct identity, to protect and perpetuate their religious freedom and cultural heritage.
“We in the United States are particularly proud of the long-standing partnership of the U.S and the Central Tibetan Administration, and with His Holiness the Dalai Lama”, said Congressman David Price while adding that the support and aid of USAID and the state department will continue for Tibetan communities in India and Nepal to improve their livelihood including the preservation of their religion, culture, and language.
Congressman David prompted that U.S support will remain the same as far as aiding CTA to improve their ability is concerned in addition to providing services to the people particularly training the next generation of Tibetans.
Congressman David Price expressed that he and his colleague members were greatly inspired by the commitment of Tibetans to democracy which he said in fact resonates with the purpose of their visit.
He commended the success of the democratic system of the Tibetan government in exile over the years and spoke on the essentiality of parliament.
He said, “parliaments are just as essential as free and fair election in realising democracy”.
He further noted that democracy is a work in progress and never perfectly and finally achieved.
Congressman mentioned that even though America has been lifted off from slavery 150 years ago, the country is still struggling with discrimination and inequality which demands that each new generation must expand democracy and make it more inclusive.
He also mentioned that the democratic system of the Tibetan government in exile helps them understand the aspiration of Tibetan people and assures them the cause of Tibet and the people of Tibet are never forgotten.
“ Tibetan system of democracy is inspiring to all those who believe in the democracy worldwide”, remarked Congressman David Price.
After Congressman David’s speech, the representatives of Tibetan NGOs expressed their greetings by offering the delegation the ceremonial scarf.
The hour-long event was concluded with lively cultural performances by the artists of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) followed by a banquet reception.
The Congressional delegation is scheduled to depart for the U.S in the early morning of 4 August. The six bipartisan Congressional delegations of the House of Democracy Partnership along with the staffers visited Dharamshala on 2 August. The delegation includes Congressman and Chairman David Price, Congressman and Vice-chair Vern Buchanan, Congresswoman Susan Davis, Representative Neal Dunn of U.S House of Representatives, Representative John Rutherford of U.S House of Representatives, and Congressman Gerald Connolly.
Singing of Tibetan National Anthem at the end of culture performance. Photo/Tenzin Jigme/CTA