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U.S. lawmakers visit Dalai Lama, highlight situation in Tibet

By Douglas Busvine| DHARAMSALA, INDIA A U.S. Congressional delegation visited the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in India on Tuesday, seeking to draw world attention to human rights in Tibet as President Donald Trump eyes warmer ties with China. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi flew with a bipartisan delegation to the Himalayan hill town where the 81-year-old Buddhist leader is based. The meeting is likely to upset China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a separatist.
"As we visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama, our bipartisan delegation comes in his spirit of faith and peace. We come on this visit to be inspired by His Holiness and demonstrate our commitment to the Tibetan people, to their faith, their culture and their language," Pelosi said. Source Credit: The Reuters
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Communist Party members in Tibet funding Dalai Lama: Chinese official

The Communist Party of China has accused its own party officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region of donating funds to the India-based Dalai Lama, described by Beijing as a separatist conspiring to carve out an independent Tibetan state. The unnamed officials were accused of donating funds to the Tibetan spiritual leader, joining underground pro-independence organizations and leaking secrets to overseas groups. Their activity “severely undermines the Party’s fight against separatism”, a Communist Party magazine quoted an official as having written. The report did not say whether the Communist Party officials were of Tibetan ethnicity. Such accusations are rare but not unprecedented. In January 2015, Chinese anti-corruption authorities had found 15 senior Communist Party officials in Tibet guilty of corruption and punished them. On Tuesday, the magazine quoted a top anti-corruption official leveling similar charges. “Some Party officials have neglected important political issues and the…

JFK airport customs agents seize yak meat, dung pods, seeds seized

New York:  More than 290 pounds of prohibited yak meat, dung pods and seeds were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Kennedy Airport, the agency said this week. The contraband items -- imported from Nepal -- were hidden inside clothing, including sweaters, shawls, and pants. Importing yak meat from countries, like Nepal, that are affected by the foot-and-mouth disease, is banned, according to the agency. The shipment was captured by the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center, based on a tip from the public. Source Credit: AM New York
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Dalai Lama Says China Cannot Decide His Successor

NEW DELHI — 
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said it is up to the Tibetan people to decide whether the institution of the Dalai Lama will continue and that China cannot decide on his successor. He said he will organize a conference to discuss the issue of the next Dalai Lama before the end of this year. The Buddhist monk spoke Saturday at a news conference during a visit to the northeast Indian town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state, which borders China. His weeklong visit has sparked anger in Beijing, which claims a chunk of the remote Himalayan state. Question of successor The question of who will replace the 81-year-old spiritual leader has gained prominence with Beijing having asserted that its communist leaders have the right to approve the next Dalai Lama as a legacy inherited from China’s emperors. But the Dalai Lama said Chinese officials have no role in identifying his successor because they are atheists and do not believe in the concept of religion. “That’s fran…

Dalai Lama’s Journey Provokes China, and Hints at His Heir

NEW DELHI — It has been a hard journey for the 81-year-old Dalai Lama, perhaps his last over the mountain passes at the edge of China, to a town that has played a fateful role in his life, and in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Violent rains buffeted the small plane he flew into the valley. His party was forced to continue overland, traveling seven or eight hours a day over steep serpentine roads, lined with villagers hoping to glimpse him. Each day, as he came closer to the holy site of Tawang, China pressed India more forcefully to stop his progress, its warnings growing increasingly ominous. By Thursday, a day before the Dalai Lama was expected to reach Tawang, the official China Daily wrote that Beijing “would not hesitate to answer blows with blows” if the Indian authorities allowed the Dalai Lama to continue. Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story At stake on this journey, scholars said, is the monumental question of who will emerge as the …

KFC prepares to open first outlet in Tibet

KFC is expected to open its first restaurant in Tibet next year, as part of a regional push that will see it expand in China and shake off food scares and marketing blunders that have severely dented sales in that country. The move comes as Yum – which owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands –prepares to spin off its business in China. The China unit aims to roughly triple its restaurant count to 20,000 and bring in more franchise partners.A franchisee will open the KFC restaurant in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, offering its American-style fried chicken in the first half of 2016, parent company Yum Brands Inc said in a statement. Yum has been trying to win back customers after negative publicity stemming from food supply controversies. In 2014, a supplier to both Yum and McDonald’s apologised for selling expired meat to the chains. It was one of a series of food scandals that appear to have affected sales. KFC pulled its plans to set up shop in Tibet more than a decade ago, sayin…

Chinese paper claims Pelosi ‘praised’ progress in Tibet on rare visit. That seems unlikely.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and delegation of congressional Democrats made a rare visit to Tibet this week. We know this because a senior Chinese official, Zhang Dejiang, the head of China's legislature, askedher about it at a meeting in Beijing on Thursday, just before reporters were ushered away. Both the Chinese foreign ministry and a representative for Pelosi (D-Calif.) later confirmed the visit, but provided scant details about the delegation's travels in a part of China mostly closed to foreign journalists. "The only thing we have been confirming is that they were in Lhasa from Monday through Wednesday. We have not offered any characterization of the trip whatsoever," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammil told Reuters in a piece published Thursday. source Credit: The Washington Post