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Rep. Miller visits Dalai Lama in India

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Friday, March 21st, 2008 at 10:12 am in Congress, International politics.

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, met with the Dalai Lama today in India in a trip with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The New York Times is running a story and photo online (see photo on right) from the event. Miller is in the back row, third from the left — he’s the tall guy with the white hair.

I’ve pasted below a press release from Miller’s office, as well.

And click here for video on the NYT web site.

Press release from Miller follows:

MILLER JOINS SPEAKER PELOSI AND OTHER LAWMAKERS

IN MEETING WITH DALAI LAMA TODAY IN INDIA

WASHINGTON – March 21, 2008 – Coinciding with one of the strongest protests in years by Tibetans against Chinese oppression, the Dalai Lama held a meeting today in India with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congressman George Miller, and other lawmakers during a congressional visit to India led by the Speaker.

The visit with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, had been planned well in advance of the trip but the meeting took on added significance because of the recent violent crackdown by the Chinese government against Tibetan protesters inside China.

“I am humbled and honored to meet with the Dalai Lama,” said Miller (D-Martinez). “It is my hope that our visit today will help draw additional attention and support to the effort by the Tibetan people to live in peace and freedom in their own country. The Chinese government’s brutal crackdown against peaceful protest is abhorrent and must end. The United States, as a leader of free nations, is obligated to support the peaceful efforts of the Tibetans and to condemn China’s repressive measures.”

(The New York Times is running a photo of the visit on its website now: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/world/asia/21cnd-pelosi.html?hp)

Miller has met the Dalai Lama on two other occasions, once at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to discuss global warming, and again several years ago When the Dalai Lama came to visit with members of Congress in Washington.

The main focus of the Speaker’s visit to India is to discuss energy and environmental issues with the government of India. The delegation is exploring areas of cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the catastrophic impacts of global warming in both countries and around the world. Innovation is a key driver of both countries’ economies. Miller and Pelosi have spent a great deal of time in Congress promoting U.S. innovation efforts. India has become a fierce economic competitor in scientific and industrial manufacturing research.

The delegation is also examining the effectiveness of U.S. assistance programs in India. Last year, the Congress appropriated approximately $117 million for India to help improve India’s ability to achieve sustainable growth and reduce poverty by decreasing child and maternal mortality, addressing the rise of infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, and promoting clean technology and climate change improvements. This year, the President requested $78 million, and Congress will consider that request in the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to be voted on in the coming months.

The delegation went to Dharamsala, India, the recognized home of Tibetan exiles, to met with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans. The U.S. provides an annual appropriation of $2.5 million for Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal who have escaped repression in Tibet. Two of the sites the delegation is visiting are the Tibetan refugee reception center, which handles newly arrived refugees and former political prisoners, and the Tibetan Children’s Village, which educates and looks after thousands of Tibetan orphans, students and new refugees.

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  • RR

    What about the not-so-peaceful looting and arson of Han Chinese-owned property? Was this the expression of freedom-loving Tibetans or simple racial hatred? There can be no dispute that Beijing has ruled Tibet with a heavy hand since 1989 (if not before) but that does not excuse the violence directed toward simple shopkeepers. The Dalai Lama characteristically condemned the violence; some friends of Tibet overlook it.