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

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Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi meets Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in Dharamsala, India.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — A U.S. Congressional delegation visited the Dalai Lama at his headquarters in India on Tuesday, with the objecting of drawing attention to human rights in Tibet at the same time President Donald Trump aims to improve U.S.-China relations.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led the bipartisan congressional 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.

“This is my home,” the Dalai Lama said holding Pelosi’s hand. He then corrected himself: “This is my second home. My real home – other side.”

He then reflected on his fate as a refugee, since fleeing from his homeland in 1959.

“Here the last 58 years I am the longest guest of Indian government,” the Dalai Lama said. “But, emotionally, some concern about deep inside Tibet, and also in China proper there are 400 million Buddhists.”

The visit comes at an awkward time for the U.S. president. During his presidential campaign, Trump had cast China as a trade adversary and currency manipulator, but he now wants President Xi Jinping’s support to restrain nuclear-armed North Korea. The Dalai Lama said he would be willing to visit China but this was not possible while Beijing still considered him a “dangerous splittist.”

After Trump’s stunning November defeat of Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama said he was keen to meet the incoming U.S. leader. It now looks unlikely the Nobel peace laureate will get a White House invite — an honor accorded by recent American presidents — anytime soon.

China took control of Tibet in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation” and has piled pressure on foreign governments to shun the Dalai Lama. Most recently, Beijing denounced New Delhi for hosting the Dalai Lama when he traveled to India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

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India-China strike détente over border issues

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India

Ladakh, INDIA (Diya TV)  — Just days after Indian Prime Minister Modi visited the frontlines in Ladakh to encourage his troops and honor those lost in a recent battle with China, India and China jointly announced both countries will disengage, pulling back in a limited manner at separate key points. A two-hour frank conversation between both nation’s foreign ministers led to the breakthrough. While both sides claim their sovereignty had been violated, India made some major economic moves against China in recent days, banning investment, stopping Chinese participation in freeway developments and blocking 59 apps including TikTok. TikTok announced they would lose up to $6 billion because of India’s ban.

In a statement on his agenda for Muslim Americans, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden said he was disappointed with the Indian government’s implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act and recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir. Biden has a long list of agendas he plans to implement if he is elected President, but there is no listing as of yet for Hindu and Sikh Americans.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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COVID-19 explodes: 50,000 cases in one day, 10,000 in Florida

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COVID19

AUSTIN, Texas (Diya TV)  — Fears of a COVID19 spike have been realized, as the caseload around the nation continues to set records daily. On Wednesday, 50,000 new cases were reported around America, 10,000 in Florida alone. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is now mandating masks in his hard-hit state and states that were starting to open up are now reworking their plans in order to combat COVID19.

As Indian and Chinese military commanders held a third round of talks on disengagement, the Indian government made another move against business and investment from China, announcing Chinese companies will not be allowed to take part in India’s highway and transportation projects, among other sectors. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi deleted his account on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.

President Trump though White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany made his strongest remarks to date on the India-China conflict, saying “China’s aggressive stance along the India-China border fits with a larger a pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of the world and these action only confirm the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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California lawsuit alleges caste-based discrimination at Cisco

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Cisco

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV)  — California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Silicon Valley titan Cisco Systems and two of their former employees alleging discrimination against an Indian-American Dalit employee. The man claims harassment by two men who are Indian Americans of a higher caste, former Cisco engineering managers Sundar Iyer and Ramana Kompella. Cisco denies the charges.

On the heels of India banning 59 Chinese apps from being distributed, the FCC designated Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE as threats to national security, saying money allocated by the government for broadband and other 5G related products cannot be used on equipment by those vendors. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lauded India for their ban of Chinese apps.

And in a new letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, 20 Senators are urging the Trump Administration to grant emergency refugee protections to Hindu and Sikh communities that have been long persecuted in Afghanistan.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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