Didn’t discuss Karmapa issue with US envoy: Dalai Lama’s Office

Monday, February 28, 2011

DHARAMSALA - The controversy over the 17th Karmapa did not figure in a meeting between US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, the latter’s office here said Monday.

“Neither side raised the issue of the Karmapa at all during the meeting,” an official statement quoting Tibetan spiritual leader’s private secretary Chimme Choekyappa said.

Roemer and his wife Sally, who reached here Feb 23 afternoon for a two-day visit, flew back to New Delhi after the talks and visiting some Tibetan establishments.

Talking to reporters prior to his departure to New Delhi, Roemer said the meeting with the Dalai Lama was “the first time in many years by a US ambassador”.

Asked what transpired during the meeting, he said the dialogue process between Beijing and the Tibetan leader’s envoys, which came to a standstill after the ninth round of talks in January last year, were among the “many important issues” discussed.

“The US had asked China to continue the dialogue process on Tibet with envoys of the Dalai Lama,” he said and added the US was very much concerned about the human rights of Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama’s Office did not comment in detail on Roemer’s visit, but was upbeat over the “positive” outcome of the meeting that lasted for more than an hour.

It said there was no mention of the controversy over the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, that erupted when unaccounted foreign currency was found in his monastery. The money was subsequently found to be nothing but donations made by his followers, officials say.

Refusing to comment officially on the role of the US regarding resumption of talks between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Beijing, Choekyappa told IANS the meeting was focused on various global issues.

“Of course, environment and recent socio-political conditions in the Middle East and North Africa were among the major issues. His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed concern over recent incidents of violence,” he said.

According to a post on the official website of the US embassy, Roemer visited Dharamsala to dedicate a centre for refugees. Roemer was the special guest at the inauguration of the new $1.4 million Tibetan Refugee Reception Centre, which received approximately 60 percent of its funding from the US government and can house up to 500 refugees.

The Dalai Lama heads the Tibetan-government-in-exile from this town in Himachal Pradesh. Nearly 100,000 Tibetan refugees live in India.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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