The Dalai Lama met today at his residence in Dharamsala, India, with U.S. ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, who voiced hope afterward that the exiled spiritual leader will soon be able to travel again to the United States.
Juster was accompanied on his May 3-4 visit to Dharamsala, seat of the Tibetan exile government, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), by a four-person delegation from the U.S. embassy in New Delhi.
The group was also hosted at a dinner reception by the CTA’s Kashag, or Cabinet, attended cultural performances by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, and visited the Tibetan Children’s Village school.
Juster, who was appointed to his post in November 2017, also met twice with Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, political leader of the Tibetan exile government.
Speaking to reporters after talking with the Dalai Lama, Ambassador Juster said he had found the spiritual leader’s presence “inspirational.”
“The meeting with His Holiness was tremendous. He is a very inspirational figure. We had a wonderful discussion.”
“It would be terrific if he were able at some point to travel to America,” Juster added.
Their talks covered a range of subjects, “but most important was his view about how the inner peace of individuals can spread and bring broader peace to mankind, “ Juster said.
Asked if he would recommend to U.S. President Donald Trump that he meet with the Dalai Lama on his next visit to the U.S., Juster said, “We will see what happens in time.”
China angered by meetings
Meetings between foreign leaders and the Dalai Lama in recent years have drawn the anger of Beijing, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist seeking to split Tibet from China’s rule.
In what he calls a Middle Way Approach, though, the Dalai Lama himself says that he seeks only a “meaningful autonomy” for Tibet as a part of China, with protections for the region’s language, religion, and culture.
Speaking to RFA’s Tibetan Service following the meeting, sources said Ambassador Juster had suggested that the Dalai Lama again visit the United States, saying, “many people in the USA have deep respect for you.”
The Dalai Lama in turn expressed a long-standing appreciation for the U.S. system of “liberty, freedom, and democracy,” adding that as “leader of the Free World” the U.S. should pursue a policy of multilateralism in global affairs, sources said.
Members of parliaments from Australia, Estonia, and Sweden have also met with the Dalai Lama in recent weeks, with a delegation of parliamentarians from the European Union scheduled to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader on May 9.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Written in English by Richard Finney.