Pelosi Hails Dalai Lama in India

Speaker calls Chinese crackdown 'a disgrace'
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 5:04 AM CDT
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi greet each other at a public reception at the Namgayal complex in Dharamsala, India, Friday, March 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
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(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi visited the Dalai Lama today in the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, where the speaker of the House blasted Chinese "oppression" and expressed her support for the Tibetan people. "The situation in Tibet is a challenge to the conscience of the world,” Pelosi said to an audience of thousands of Tibetan exiles in Dharamsala, India, reports AFP.

Although Pelosi's visit was part of a previously scheduled trip to India, it will further irk the Chinese government, which was embarrassed when the Dalai Lama was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress’ highest award, last October. The Tibetan government-in-exile is at odds with the Chinese government over recent uprisings: Beijing says just four protesters have been killed in "self-defense," while Dharamsala reports 99.