U.S. Congress approves aid for Tibetans

Package is worth US$17 million

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The Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The United States Congress has approved aid for Tibetans totaling US$17 million (NT$496 million) to be handed out beginning in October, the Liberty Times reported Saturday.

The initial report came from a Tibetan administrative website, which said the funds would be devoted both to Tibetans inside the Chinese-occupied region and those living in exile, mainly in India and Nepal.

Congress would spend US$8 million of the funds inside Tibet itself, US$6 million on Tibetan communities in India and Nepal, and the remaining US$3 million on strengthening Tibetan organizations and the Tibetan government in exile.

The funding was a continuation of a policy begun by the administration of President George W. Bush in 2002, the Liberty Times reported. Last May, there were reports that President Donald Trump might seek to abolish the financial aid, causing concern on the part of the Dalai Lama’s administration, based in the Indian town of Dharamsala.

However, 37 members of Congress wrote a letter to the president last June, asking him to appoint a special moderator for Tibetan affairs, but the message remained without response, the Liberty Times reported.