US House Speaker Thanks India for Hosting Dalai Lama

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has thanked India for extending its hospitality to the Dalai Lama.

Pelosi spoke Monday as she welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is in Washington on a four-day visit.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 when he left Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule. The Chinese government accuses him of campaigning for Tibet's independence, but the exiled Buddhist monk says his goal is meaningful autonomy for Tibetans within China.

Pelosi said Americans have learned from India's famed independence leader Mahatma Gandhi how to get results through non-violence.

Pelosi's comments come at a time when critics accuse President Obama of not taking a firmer stance on Tibet and human rights issues. Controversy erupted earlier this year when the White House announced that Mr. Obama would not meet with the spiritual leader until after completing his visit to China.

The Dalai Lama told Indian television on Sunday that he is not disappointed that the U.S. president chose not to meet with him sooner. He also defended Mr. Obama from criticism that he was too easy on Chinese leaders during his recent trip to Beijing.

The Dalai Lama said he hoped Mr. Obama would discuss Tibet with Prime Minister Singh this week.

Some information for this report was provided by Phayul and Indian Express.