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US envoy admires Dalai Lama for seeking freedom for Tibetans

The globetrotting monk lives in exile along with some 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

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Dalai Lama

Dharamsala, July 6 : Reaffirming Washington”s continued support to the Tibetan cause, US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Ian Juster, on Monday greeted Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on his 85th birthday by admiring his tireless efforts to seek freedom for Tibetans and bringing an end to strife and hostility around the world.

“Your Holiness, it is a special privilege to know you and to be the chief guest at this celebration of your 85th birthday,” Juster said in a video message.

“The esteem in which you are held by the people of the United States is a demonstration of the deep and enduring affinity between Americans and Tibetans, beginning with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who sent you the gift of a pocket-watch when you were a young boy.

“Successive US administrations of both political parties have admired your tireless efforts to seek freedom for Tibetans, preserve the Tibetan culture and bring an end to strife and hostility around the world,” Juster, who had called on the Dalai Lama at his official palace here in May 2018, said.

“The presentation to you in 2007 of the Congressional gold medal by your friend President George W. Bush stands as the preeminent demonstration of the high regard in which you are held in the United States of America.

“In the words of President Bush during the presentation ceremony in the US capital, ”You are a universal symbol of peace and tolerance. A shepherd for the faithful and the keeper of the flame for his people. This is why all of us are drawn to a noble and spiritual leader who lives a world away”,” the US Ambassador said.

“I believe the warm feelings between Americans and Tibetans spring in part from the recognition that your”s is a just and noble struggle. A struggle to secure for your people the same self-evident and unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that our founding fathers enshrined in the “Declaration of Independence”.

“You may have read these words on the walls of the Jefferson memorial when you visited that landmark in 1991.

“We like to think that these words may have had some influence on Your Holiness when you created a democratic framework for your own people. Your abdication in 2011 of temple authority in favour of the elected-Central Tibetan Administration extended to thousands of Tibetans around the world the right to chart their own destiny.

“We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the Central Tibetan Administration which helps support the health, wellbeing and prosperity of Tibetans who have sought refuge in India,” he said.

“For the American people, your work is in many ways a continuation of the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

“Your unwavering sense of purpose calls to our minds the words of Dr. King in his letter from Bermingham jail when he wrote that human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability, it comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of leaders and you.

“Your Holiness epitomise this type of leadership. We are also proud of the role the US Embassy in New Delhi, in its own modest way, has played in nurturing the affinity between our peoples.

“This includes our reception in 1946 for the delegation of the Tibetan government that congratulated my country on the end of World War II. To the late Gene Smith whose work at the Embassy”s Library of Congress Office rescued thousands of priceless Tibetan texts from the depravations of China”s Cultural revolution,” Juster said.

“We know how much remains at stake for your people and we look forward to more years of your leadership in the service of freedom for Tibetans and their survival of Tibetan culture and identity.

“I would like to close by returning to President Roosevelt, whose gift to you in some manner may have led us here today. Confronting a different era when the world seems locked in conflict, President Roosevelt remarked in a final message to the American people, ”If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the signs of human relationships, the ability of all peoples of all kinds to live together and work together in the same world at peace”.”

“I can think of no one who better exemplifies these words than Your Holiness. Like the era of President Roosevelt, we too are living in challenging times, in our case due to the pandemic.

“Yet this celebration today of your 85th birthday and your life”s work gives us great hope for the future and the promise of a more peaceful world. Happy birthday to you, Your Holiness and many happy returns,” Juster added.

The Dalai Lama, who believes in the “middle-path” policy that demands “greater autonomy” for the people in Tibet, is viewed by the Chinese as a hostile element who is bent on splitting Tibet from China.

The globetrotting monk lives in exile along with some 140,000 Tibetans, over 100,000 of them in India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.

The Tibetan exile administration, known as the Central Tibetan Administration and headed by democratically elected Lobsang Sangay, is based in this northern Indian hill town.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])

Politics

BJP-led government in Manipur wins trust vote

During the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls, two Congress MLAs had cross voted to ensure the victory of saffron party nominee and Manipur’s titular Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba.

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N Biren Singh

Imphal, Aug 10 : The BJP-led Manipur government on Monday won the trust vote in the Assembly following a hectic day-long debate after Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had moved a confidence motion.

BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav congratulated Singh soon after the Chief Minister’s trust motion got the endorsement of the House.

The advisor to the Chief Minister, Rajat Sethi, said in a tweet: “Devious plans of the Congress to destabilise the government have failed. Congrats CM.”

The crucial one-day session of the Manipur Assembly was called on Monday to decide on the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister.

The spokesperson of the Opposition Congress in Manipur, Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, said that instead of accepting the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress, the Manipur Assembly has accepted the motion of confidence moved by the BJP government.

The ruling coalition and the main opposition Congress had issued separate whips to their members to attend the Assembly on Monday and vote following their respective party lines.

A noisy scene was witnessed in the House after the BJP-led alliance won the confidence motion.

The Manipur government had plunged into a serious political crisis on June 17 after the four-member National People’s Party (NPP), the sole Trinamool Congress MLA, and an Independent MLA withdrew their support while three BJP MLAs quit the party and joined the Congress.

The nine-day-long political crisis ended with the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national President J.P. Nadda, Meghalaya Chief Minister and NPP national President Conrad K. Sangma and Assam Minister and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The effective strength of the Manipur assembly is 53, including Speaker Y. Khemchand Singh, following the disqualification of four members, including former minister Th Shyamkumar and the resignation of three BJP MLAs.

The disqualification of Trinamool Congress legislator T. Robindro by the Speaker was stayed by the Manipur High Court.

During the June 19 Rajya Sabha polls, two Congress MLAs had cross voted to ensure the victory of saffron party nominee and Manipur’s titular Maharaja Sanajaoba Leishemba.

In the 2017 Assembly elections, the had Congress emerged as the single largest party securing 28 seats, but the BJP, which bagged 21 seats, stitched a coalition government with the support of four NPP MLAs, four Naga People’s Front MLAs, the lone TMC MLA and an Independent member.

Seven Congress MLAs also joined the BJP subsequently. Demanding the disqualification of the seven MLAs, the Congress had in January this year filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which had asked the Speaker to take appropriate steps.

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Politics

Gehlot villain of ‘Great Political Drama’ of Rajasthan: BJP

Poonia also questioned that how the party which lacks a president in Delhi, could have solved the Rajasthan political crisis.

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Satish Poonia

Jaipur, Aug 10 : BJP state President Satish Poonia on Monday termed the Rajasthan political crisis as the ‘great political drama’ of Rajasthan and termed Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot as the villain in the entire episode.

“The person who was trying to project himself as a hero has emerged as a villain in the entire episode and hence he should resign on moral grounds for bringing infamy to Rajasthan,” said Poonia.

He also asked Gehlot to share with the citizens of the state the expenses incurred on the MLAs’ stay in Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur and Hotel Suryagarh in Jaisalmer. Poonia claimed that while accommodation charges for the MLAs amounted to Rs 4 crore, food and other expenses came to Rs 10 crore while the cost of air travel is yet to be calculated.

The state BJP President also said that the way the Gehlot government imposed sedition charges on its own MLAs also raises questions on its intentions. He added that they made the Special Operations Group and the Anti Corruption Bureau investigate people’s representatives, only to make a U-turn later and drop the sedition charges.

He quipped that since the Congress government has taken many U-turns, Rahul Gandhi should start a U-turn channel. Poonia said that the entire episode has exposed the weakness of the Congress high command.

Poonia also questioned that how the party which lacks a president in Delhi, could have solved the Rajasthan political crisis.

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India

Yogi invokes NSA against Peace Party leader Dr Ayub

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper.

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Dr Ayub Khan Peace Party

LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against Dr Ayub, president of the Peace Party.

Ayub will not get bail for at least 12 months.

He was arrested from Gorakhpur on August 1, for issuing an advertisement with derogatory content in a newspaper. A complaint against him had been registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow.

Ayub, who is the founder of the Peace Party and was elected to the Vidhan Sabha in 2012, is now in Lucknow jail.

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