American ambassador arrives in Dharamsala to meet Dalai Lama | india | Hindustan Times
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American ambassador arrives in Dharamsala to meet Dalai Lama

india Updated: Feb 23, 2011 17:56 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times
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United States Ambassador Timothy J Roemer on Wednesday arrived at Dharamsala to inaugurate the Tibetan Reception Centre; a transit home for Tibetan escapees constructed at Khaniyara village. He will call on exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Thursday.

"I have come here for inaugurating Tibetan reception center,” said US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer, inaugurating the Tibetan Reception Centre that had been funded by United States. The American ambassador refused to take media questions. Timothy, who is accompanied by his wife, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Kangra airport by functionaries of the Tibetan government in exile, including Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche.

The ambassador’s airport drove straight away to Hotel Shambala House in Macleodganj, while later in the afternoon he inaugurated the Tibetan Reception Centre. Officials of the central Tibetan administration maintain that the ambassador had visited Dharamsala on the invite extended by 'Tibet Fund', a New York based non profitable organization.

"Right now we are not disclosing anything. Only we can confirm is that United States Ambassador will meet His Holiness Dalai Lama tomorrow morning” Chimme Choekyappa, the Dalai Lama’s private secretary told Hindustan Times. The high profile visit has generated a lot of speculation over its purpose, covert or otherwise.

The Dalai Lama’s private administration is keeping the agenda of the meeting tightly wrapped.

But sources said there is every likelihood that the standoff over talks with China could figure in the discussions, when the ambassador meets Dalai Lama. The talks between Dalai Lama’s emissaries and Chinese government representatives came to a standstill after the two sides held the ninth rounds of talks last year in China.

Tibetan delegations, led by special envoy Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, along with four other members had submitted clarifications on the Tibetan peoples memorandum on genuine autonomy kept before the Chinese during the eight round in 2009.

If sources are to be believed, rehabilitation of Tibetans living in Nepal could also be discussed. The Bush administration had offered to settle as many as 1000 Tibetans exiles, particularly those whose kin had participated in the American sponsored covert guerrilla war against the Chinese, led from Mustang in Nepal.