Pramila Jayapal among US lawmakers visiting India.
A bipartisan House delegation, led by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, arrived in India, as part of its four-nation visit, focusing on national security and human rights, among other issues.
The delegation, which consists of seven Democrats and Wisconsin Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, also includes freshman Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Other members of the congressional delegation are Democrats Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Eliot Engel of New York, Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Judy Chu of California, and Joyce Beatty of Ohio.
The lawmakers arrived in India from Nepal.
In New Delhi, the delegation will also discuss bilateral economic issues with Indian leaders. On Wednesday evening, the lawmakers are scheduled to attend a reception hosted by the US-India Business Council in Delhi.
The USIBC said the members will be briefed on ways to strengthening the bilateral commercial ties by American and Indian business leaders.
“We are pleased that Leader Pelosi is taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with business leaders who have made large investments in India and are committed to growing the economy there,” USIBC President Dr. Mukesh Aghi said in a press release.
One of the first engagements of the lawmakers in India was a meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, in Himachal Pradesh, roughly 300 miles to the north of New Delhi.
After her meeting with Dalai Lama, Pelosi tweeted:
“Our delegation visits @DalaiLama in his spirit of faith & peace coming to be inspired & demonstrate our commitment to the Tibetan people,” the Democrat tweeted.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 9, 2017
Jayapal also tweeted:
His Holiness @DalaiLama embodies great love and compassion for human beings. He is an example for all. I’m deeply honored to meet him.
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) May 9, 2017
“I am especially worried about the situation of the Tibetan people,” McGovern, the Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and a leading hawk on Tibet, said in a press release. “I am deeply troubled by the reports I receive from inside Tibet of human rights abuses and affronts to basic human dignity — like the demolition of buildings and forced eviction of religious people from the famous Buddhist institute at Larung Gar, and the severe restrictions on the rights of Tibetans to freely meet, speak, write and worship as they choose. And I am equally concerned about the obstacles Tibetans face when they try to travel within China or to neighboring countries.”
In Dharansala, the delegation also visited the Tibetan Children’s Village, a school for young Tibetans.
Earlier, in Kathmandu, the Nepalese capital, the US lawmakers met with the country’s President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Pushpa Kama Dahal.
“It was an honor to observe the 70th anniversary of US-Nepal relations as we met with President Bhandari in Kathmandu this week,” Pelosi tweeted.