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India had no qualms over my Tibet remarks: Pelosi
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC | April 02, 2008 08:34 IST
Nancy Pelosi, the powerful Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was unrepentant for thrashing China last month while on Indian soil over Beijing's [Images] crackdown in Tibet [Images], and said no senior Indian officials or any others had taken offence over her remarks.
Asked by rediff.com if she believed it was appropriate to slam China as she did while visiting a third country and that privately Indian officials were none too pleased over her criticism of Beijing while visiting with the exiled Tibetan leader The Dalai Lama [Images] in Dharamsala, Pelosi said, "I can say without any hesitation that the Indian government treated us with the utmost respect and the most warm and courteous hospitality."
At a Capitol Hill news conference with members of the Congressional delegation she led to India, the first woman Speaker in the history of the US House of Representatives, said, that during her meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], members of Parliament of different parties and leaders of the business sector in Mumbai, "we received no inference to be drawn through anything that the Indian government has said that they had any concerns about what we said in India," about China's human rights violations in Tibet.
"Now, I did not thrash China when we were in India," Pelosi said, adding, "I spoke truths about what China is doing in Tibet and that China has not lived up to its statements made to the Olympic Committee about more openness and respect for human rights in order to attract the Olympics [Images]."
Congressman Ed Markey, Massacshusetts Democrat, who was also a member of the delegation of lawmakers led by Pelosi to India, told rediff.com, "There was not a single point at which the Indian government or anyone in India said they were unhappy with the statement that had been made by the Speaker or the other members of our delegation with regard to the Dalai Lama and the way the Chinese government was treating him."
"There was not a single comment to that fact," Markey reiterated.
Pelosi said, "When the delegation was in Dharamsala, we met with some of the prisoners who had just come over the Himalayans into Dharamsala. It was a remarkable meeting to hear how they were treated in these prisons. It was really treatment that was outside the circle of civilized human behaviour."
She said, "It was very instructive to us as to what is happening and one of the most excruciating forms of torture that a tyrant can apply to a political prisoner is to say that no one cares -- that no one even knows you are here and that they are not going to care about your issue anymore."
"We want to be sure that political prisoners everywhere in the world know that people are speaking out for them," Pelosi asserted.