In a historic feat, for the first time in six decades, the head of exiled Tibetan government, Lobsang Sangay entered the United States on November 20 and was even invited to the White House. While Sangay said that visiting the US was a “great honour”, the move is expected to further infuriate China who has already called for America to “stop interfering” in its internal matters including Tibet. In a statement, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) hailed the formal entry of Sangay to the foreign nation as it was previously denied by the US State Department and the White House.
It is a great honor to be the first political head of the Central Tibetan Administration to formally enter the White House https://t.co/nbdVONjlmg — Lobsang Sangay (@Drlobsangsangay) November 20, 2020
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The reason behind CTA being prohibited in the US was that Washington did not recognise the Tibetan government in exile. However, the November 20 visit not only amounts to the acknowledgement of the democratic system of its CTA but also its political head, Sangay. As per CTA statement, the CTA head met with White House officials after previously “undisclosed” conversations that took place between Tibetan officials and US in several locations “over a dozen times in the past 10 years” since Sangay took the CTA leadership in 2011.
The CTA said, “Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay entered the United States White House this afternoon — a historic feat. This is the first time in the last 6 decades the head of the Central Tibetan Administration has been invited into the White House.”
“Last month, Dr Sangay became the first Sikyong to be formally invited into the US State Department to meet Assistant Secretary and Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Robert Destro,” it added. Read – Xi Jinping Instructs To Ramp Up Construction Of Sichuan-Tibet Railway Project
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China irked with US saying it has ‘no right’ to pick next Dalai Lama
The formal meet of Sangay and White House officials came just a couple of days after China fired back on the US for saying that Beijing has ‘no right’ to pick the next Dalai Lama. The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lijian Zhao on November 18 said that “religious freedom” is being used by several US officials including its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “smear” other nations. Accusing America of turning “blind eye” to the racism prevailing in the nation, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement that Bejing urges Washington to stop taking the same pretext in a bid to interfere with the internal matters of other nations.
The 14th Dalai Lama, now 85, had fled Tibet back in 1959 following a Chinese clampdown to the local population, and since then he resides in India. Currently, the Tibetan government-in-exile operates from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. With over 1,60,000 Tibetans living in India.
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