U.S Ambassador Sam Brownback: ‘Right to Dalai Lama’s reincarnation belongs to Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhist System’

Dharamshala: A delegation from the U.S consisting of U.S Ambassador at large for Religious Freedom led by Samuel D. Brownback and his entourage met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama today at the latter residence.

The delegation led by Samuel D. Brownback arrived in Dharamshala on Sunday at the special invitation of CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay to be the official chief guest for the First International Conference on Tibetan Performing Arts and the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).

The chief purpose of their visit as they mentioned during their welcome reception is to send a clear message to the world particularly China that, “the United States government supports the Tibetan people, the Dalai Lama and that the role of picking a successor to the Dalai Lama belongs to the Tibetan Buddhist system, the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist leaders. It does not belong to anybody else, not any government or any entity.”

The Ambassador also met with a group of survivors of religious persecution who had recently escaped from Chinese-controlled Tibet and had an hour-long interaction with them while they narrated their accounts.

Speaking on the meeting he said, “We believe in religious freedom; the United States strongly supports religious freedom. We believe people all over the world deserve this right and they should be able to practice theirs peacefully and freely. Unfortunately, Tibetans aren’t allowed to practice their faith freely in Tibet and they have to get out to India and other places to practise their faith so I was hearing with some people that had recently left and all for the reason of wanting to practice their faith freely”.

After the hour-long session with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the delegation left to attend the event at TIPA.

The visit of the US Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom at the seat of Central Tibetan Administration is the highest-level official visit led by the US Government to the CTA in the recent period.