Congressman Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin recently visited Nepal and he is also the lead sponsor of the Tibet immigration bill. The meeting with the Congressman and his staff touched on both the issues.
Dr. Sangay spoke at a well attended event at the National Press Club. He was invited to participate in the Club’s Newsmaker Program, an hour-long news conference run by the Club for the benefit of members and the press corps. Under this program guests such as Members of Congress, key government officials, experts in policy, leaders of influential organizations and others agree to give a brief statement and to submit to questions from the press.
The Kalon Tripa spoke on the current situation in Tibet particularly the spate of self-immolations. He reiterated his administration’s commitment to the Middle Way approach and argued that the Tibet issue is amenable to a peaceful and quick solution if Beijing demonstrates the same will and approach as they have towards Hong Kong and Macao, both special administrative regions of PRC, and their policy towards Taiwan.
Senator Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. He has a long and personal interest in Tibet and in Nepal. The Senator visited Tibet in the mid-1990s. The Senator and his key foreign policy aide, Tim Rieser, expressed their continued support. They voiced concern over the situation in Nepal where Tibetans are coming under increasing restrictions and harassment by Nepalese authorities. The Senator expressed his deep admiration and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Pictures of the Senator and His Holiness were prominently hung in his office. The Kalon Tripa invited the Senator to visit Dharamsala. Special Envoy Lodi Gyari and Representative Lobsang Nyandak were also present at the meeting.
The day’s last meeting was with Representatives Ander Crenshaw (Republican from Florida) and Jared Polis (Democrat from Colorado). They are the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Nepal Caucus. Kalon Tripa briefed both the Representatives on the current situation of Tibetans in Nepal. Both the representatives offered their support. Congressman Crenshaw spoke positively about foreign aid and how it was in the United States’ interest to continue offering aid to other countries. In that context he offered his support for Tibet-related programs funded by the U.S. government.