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Trump should meet Dalai Lama to promote peace: Congressman

Washington: A top Republican Congressman has suggested US president-elect Donald Trump to meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and help promote peace between Tibet and China.

“As you meet with various world leaders in preparation for assuming your role as President, I would like to take the opportunity to suggest that you meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner said in a letter to Trump, copy of which was released yesterday.

After being elected as the 45th President of the United States on November 8, Trump and his vice president-elect Mike Pence has spoken to more than 50 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the congratulatory phone call that he received from the Taiwanese President drew sharp reaction from China.

Over the years, American presidents have maintained relationship with the Dalai Lama but in his capacity as the religious and spiritual leader of the Tibetans. But it has drawn angry reaction from the Chinese whenever a US President meets Dalai Lama in the White House.

So far Trump has not spoken to the 81-year-old Tibetan leader, prompting the powerful Republican to send a letter to the resident-elect in this regard.

“Tibetans have the right to preserve their culture, heritage, language, and religion. Over the years, the Tibetan people have undergone a constant struggle to free themselves from the Chinese government and to preserve these basic freedoms,” Sensenbrenner said.

“The People’s Republic of China continues to refuse to acknowledge the autonomy of the Tibetan people, and have cracked down on protests and demonstrations by Tibetans,” he wrote in the letter.

“Throughout the course of the last half-century, America has had a strong and stable relationship with the people and government of Tibet. I hope you will continue this strong relationship with Tibet, as well as promote peace between Tibet and the People’s Republic of China,” he said.

A US lawmaker since 1979, Congressman Sensenbrenner met the Dalai Lama in 2008. Since his exile from Tibet 57 years ago, the Dalai Lama has been a strong and persistent advocate for a peaceful resolution to the tension between Tibet and China, he said.

In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in furthering the peaceful protest of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Congressman wrote to Trump.