Dharamshala: An Obama administration official has said that the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) India Mission will give $2 million to Tibetan settlements abroad.

According to the Economic Times, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Mario Otero has said that the money will be part of a two-year program to support Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Organic agriculture and vocational training will be part of this new program, which, according to Otero, will "encourage youth to remain in the settlements, strengthen community ties, and preserve cultural and linguistic traditions."

A spokesperson for the Obama Administration said that the US will continue its longtime support for NGO's that work with Tibetans both inside and outside of Tibet. The State Department and USAID support cultural preservation, sustainable development and environmental preservation among Tibetan communities.

"USAID anticipates the program will result in increased economic opportunities," said Otero.

Montréal, Friday, 8 July 2011: - The Canada Tibet Committee is calling upon the Conservative Party of Canada to retract the congratulatory letter that the party sent to the Communist Party of China (CPC) on its 90th anniversary.

The letter's existence first reported first by Chinese news agencies congratulates the communists on their anniversary and notes that the Conservative party "look(s) forward to future relations between the two parties."

``Wittingly or not someone at the Conservative party fell into a trap that only serves the propaganda interests of one of the most repressive regimes in the world and the right thing to do is to eat the flattering, backslapping words and do so publicly,`` said CTC executive director Dermod Travis.

``The Conservative party under former leaders would have shuddered at the thought of sending a similar letter to the National party of South Africa while that regime practiced its repressive policies of apartheid and someone at today`s Conservative HQ should be wise enough to appreciate that the CPC regime - which only maintains power through military oppression - doesn`t deserve congratulations, but rebuke.``

The CTC urges the Harper government to send a note to its political wing to cease interfering in Canadian foreign policy to avoid such misguided missives in the future.

The Canada Tibet Committee is an independent non-governmental organization of Tibetans and non-Tibetans living in Canada, who are concerned about the continuing human rights violations and lack of democratic freedom in Tibet.

Dharamshala- The Tibetan exile community of Mc Leod Ganj has witnessed changes on an unimaginable scale since His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first arrival on 30th April 1960. It has moved from being an abandoned, remote British hill station, to a highly developed tourism juggernaut; a sanctuary for Tibetan-exiles, and the locus of co-coordinating the Tibetan struggle. The town has been changing at a breakneck speed.

Dharamshala: Ahead of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Tibet will be closed to foreign tourists as well as non-Chinese researchers and scholars. According to reports from RFA and AFP news agency, foreigners will not be admitted into Tibet until at least the end of July.

"At the moment we're not admitting foreign tourists," a representative from the China Travel Service in Tibet's capital of Lhasa told AFP. A separate travel agent from Lhasa told RFA: "No travel agencies will take foreigners into Tibet. There must be something political, something the government does not want them to see."

In Lhasa, even Tibetans who are not registered as residents there, were reported being expelled. "Many Tibetans who came from Qinghai and Yunnan were told to return home by the end of June, and Tibetan businessmen without official permits have also been told to leave Lhasa and return to their hometowns,"RFA quoted an anonymous Tibetan residing in the city as saying. The current ban marks the second time this year that Tibet has been closed off to foreigners. During the politically sensitive month of March where Tibetans marked the 52nd anniversary of China's brutal suppression of a Tibetan national uprising, a ban on foreigners visiting to Tibet was imposed.

Also, the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which falls on Jul 6, is a particularly sensitive occasion to the Chinese government.

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