Spring Break With The Dalai Lama

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Congress's spring break comes to a close this week. So, who will have the best stories from the road when the House and Senate reconvene next week? While Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) stopped in Iraq and in the Gaza Strip, it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) who may have waded into one of the most heated conflicts when she traveled with a delegation to India. Pelosi visited the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala and spoke out "against China's oppression in Tibet," resulting in a rebuke from China's official news agency, which criticized Pelosi for "refusing to check [her] facts and find out the truth of the case."

Pelosi's was one of the first visits by a top foreign government official since the anti-Chinese protests broke out in Lhasa, the traditional Tibetan capital, earlier this month. And she seemed to think it was serendipitous timing.

"Little did we know even a few weeks ago that we would be coming here at this critical time. Maybe it is our karma that we are here now to lend support to the Tibetan people," Pelosi said in Dharmsala, capital of the Tibetan government in exile, last week. From there, the bipartisan group headed to Mumbai to discuss climate change.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) led a delegation of his own overseas, taking four fellow Republicans to Israel this week on a trip marking -- two months ahead of schedule -- the 60th anniversary of Israel's founding.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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