United States Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, on Thursday held close door talks with the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama in Dharamsala to discuss host of “important issues”. US diplomat backed the Dalai Lama for talks with China over Tibet issue, which had come to standstill after ninth round of talks last year.
The meeting at Dalai Lama’s mansion in Mcleodganj lasted for more than an hour. Timothy described his meeting with Dalai Lama as “fruitful”. "I came here to this great place to meet this very respected and holy man, and as a spiritual and religious leader in the world on a trail of many other high-level United States officials who have come up here to show their respect to His Holiness,” Roemer told the curious newsmen outside the Dalai Lama’s residence. And we continue to have this very productive, engaging and very fruitful dialogue in the months and years to come,” he added.
Roemer said that the talks between the Dalai Lama’s emissaries and China, which came to a grinding halt after ninth round of talks held last year, also figured in his meeting with Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama’s representatives led by Lodhi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen had clarified to Chinese counterparts on memorandum of Tibetan people on genuine autonomy which the Chinese government had out rightly rejected.
”There are many important issues to talk to His Holiness about; certainly underscored as president Obama did when (Chinese) president Hu visited the United States last month that human rights in Tibet continue to be a very important issue for the United States. And also that as the president (Obama) did to president Hu, encourage the Chinese officials to continue their dialogue on longstanding issues with the representatives of His Holiness. These are important issues," Roemer said.
Roemer appreciated the Dalai Lama for his concern over the environmental issues related to China administered Tibetan autonomous region (TAR). "You can’t spend more than a few minutes with His Holiness without talking about the environment and ecology. You know he is very passionate about those types of issues” he said.
US ambassador and his wife Sally visited the Upper Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School, in the Naddi village. The couple interacted with teachers and the school children.
Dalai Lama’s private office refrained from commenting on the visit and described as “courtesy meeting”. “We are not commenting on the details of the meeting”, Tenzin Taklha, Joint secretary at Dalai Lama’s office told Hindustan Times.
United States diplomat while talking to media men said the main purpose of his visit to Dharamsala was to inaugurate the Tibetan Reception Center - the transit home for new arrivals from Tibet.