International

Rijiju tweets out US envoy’s dinner for Tibet

Richard Verma, United States Ambassador to India during an interview to The Hindu at his residence, in New Delhi in this file photo. Photo: V. Sudershan

Richard Verma, United States Ambassador to India during an interview to The Hindu at his residence, in New Delhi in this file photo. Photo: V. Sudershan   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

Days before the inauguration of Trump presidency, U.S. ambassador to India revived the issue of independence for Tibet by hosting prominent Tibetan representatives in his residence for a dinner. The event held in private was made public by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on the social media on Friday.

Mr. Rijiju thanked the envoy for the dinner which was held on 15 January and said, “nice meeting my dear friend Richard Gere again. Thank you HE Richard Verma for a wonderful dinner and great tenure as USA Ambassador to India.” Photographs posted on his Twitter page showed the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay, and other U.S. diplomats.

“The dinner showed that the Tibetan issue remains strong in the international affairs, and we are hopeful that the support of the United States will continue during the presidency of Donald Trump,” said Tempa Tsering, senior Tibetan leader and advisor who was present at the event.

“The event was hosted by Ambassador Verma in honour of his visiting friend Hollywood star Richard Gere. Mr Gere and Mr Verma are old friends. Apart from Dr Lobsang Sangay, a several US diplomats also met us,” said Mr. Tsering.

In October 2016 China had responded angrily to Mr. Verma’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh where he participated in the famous Tawang festival alongside Mr. Rijiju. Following his visit, the envoy had described Tawang as “stunning” and thanked the local people.

“We urge the United States to stop getting involved in the China-India territorial dispute and do more to benefit this region’s peace and tranquillity,” the Spokesperson of Chinese foreign ministry had said criticising the envoy’s Tawang trip.

However, India had said that there was “nothing unusual” about Mr. Verma’s trip as he visited an Indian territory.

Mr. Tsering said that Tibet has returned to the global table once again after a brief period. “The humanitarian aspects of the Tibetan issue can not be brushed aside,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2020 5:37:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Rijiju-tweets-out-US-envoy%E2%80%99s-dinner-for-Tibet/article17107612.ece

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