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Top US official calls on Dalai Lama

Source: PTI
March 21, 2008 11:33 IST
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Amid concerns in Washington over developments in Lhasa, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Friday met Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Pelosi, the third-highest ranking US official, was given a rousing welcome at the main temple complex in Dharamshala opposite the residence of the Dalai Lama, who has been accused by China of masterminding the violence in Tibet.

She was accompanied by nine US Congressmen.

China, which has voiced its opposition to her meeting with the Dalai Lama, is understood to be closely watching her trip to Dharamshala.

Pelosi was instrumental in the US' decision last year to confer the Dalai Lama with the Congressional Medal, a top US civilian honour.

The US Speaker arrived here this morning in this hill town lying on the spur of the majestic, snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain range.

 This town, which is home to many Tibetans living in exile, has been witnessing sproadic anti-China protests for the past week since Bejing began the crackdown against pro-independence demonstrators in Lhasa.

Tibetan monks have been taking out protests marches from the town square to the main Buddha temple shouting anti-China slogan several times during the day. As the sun sets on the town, Tibetans turnout in large numbers for a candle-light vigil. Several others are on a hunger strike outside the temple.

The town is all plastered with photographs of Tibetans tortured allegedly in Chinese jails.

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