October 25th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall

Randy Leonard to Meet Tibetan Government-in-Exile

Remember last winter, when City Commissioner Randy Leonard managed to piss off the People's Republic of China by pushing a City Council proclamation "to reaffirm the independence of Tibet?"

A visit from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco—and veiled threats in the Chinese media to cut broadcasts of Trail Blazers games—apparently didn't quash Leonard's devotion to the Tibetan cause. He's meeting this Wednesday in Portland at 1 pm with Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Samdhong Rinpoche is in town to meet with local Tibetans and to give a talk at 2 pm Wednesday at Portland State University, says Kalsang Phuntshog, president of the Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association.

"Since Commissioner Leonard has been a strong supporter of our Tibetan community in Portland, we're just going to introduce (the prime minister) to him," Phuntshog says.

As for China retaliating against Portland—Leonard isn't too worried, according to Ty Kovatch, his chief of staff.

"Hopefully China has bigger fish to fry than who Commissioner Leonard is meeting with," Kovatch says.
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