Dharamshala, India — "Tibetan system of democracy is inspiring to all those who believe in the democracy worldwide”, U.S congressman David Price said during a grand welcome reception hosted by the Tibetan government-in-exile, in honor the visit of a bipartisan commission of the US House of Representatives, who assured their continued support to the cause of Tibet.
Heads of the three pillars of Tibetan democracy which include the Kashag, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, and the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, heads of the Autonomous bodies and all the CTA Offices filled the auditorium to pay their respect and expressed their gratitude to the Congressional delegation, at T-building in Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala, India, on August 3, 2019.
U.S Congressman, David Price addressed the event, organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) while acknowledging their visit as a productive and encouraging one.
In his address, Chairman 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.
Price enunciated Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decades’ long effort in championing the cause of human rights in China. He 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.
The U.S. lawmaker 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 honor of a lifetime”, affirmed 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, the U.S. lawmaker claimed that today’s meeting with His Holiness since their last meeting will forever be etched in their memories. And for that, the U.S. congressman thanked Tibetan President Dr Lobsang Sangay for arranging the meeting.
The Congressman also announced that the people of the U.S are honored 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.
The U.S. lawmaker 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”, the US Congressman said, 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 added that democracy is a work in progress and never perfectly and finally achieved.
The 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 Price.
After Congressman Price’s speech, the representatives of Tibetan NGOs expressed their greetings by offering the delegation the ceremonial scarves. 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 Sunday, August 4, 2019. 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.
During their two-day visit in Dharamshala, the delegation was granted a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on Saturday. The U.S. delegation met with top Tibetan officials and members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, as well as other representatives of the Tibetan community.
The US delegation was escorted by the head of the Office of Tibet in Washington, DC, Ngodup Tsering, who in this capacity is the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to North America.
Explaining the visit of the high-level U.S Congressional delegation, Sonam Norbu Dagpo, Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations explained that delegation consists of 6 members U.S bipartisan delegation of the House of Democracy Partnership. 'The delegation was accompanied by the staffers, military escorts and staff of the embassy constituting comprising about 32 guests in total.'