Statement from the Press Secretary on the President’ s meeting Thursday with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama:
“The President met this morning at the White House with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama. The President stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China. The President commended the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” approach, his commitment to nonviolence and his pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government. The President stressed that he has consistently encouraged both sides to engage in direct dialogue to resolve differences and was pleased to hear about the recent resumption of talks. The President and the Dalai Lama agreed on the importance of a positive and cooperative relationship between the United States and China.”
Update: The Dalai Lama is in town to receive a award from a democracy advocacy group.
In a ceremony at the Library of Congress tomorrow, the Dalai Lama is expected to receive a medal from the nonprofit group National Endowment for Democracy, a grant-making organization, which is funded primarily through Congress to promote democracy.
The group said it chose the Dalai Lama for the award because of his work in government reform while in exile. “The Dalai Lama, even before leaving Tibet, sought to implement significant reforms in the system of government. Only in exile was the Dalai Lama able to implement those reforms,” said NED President Carl Gershman. “Today, the Tibetan community in exile operates under a democratic constitution…The Dalai Lama himself has often said that it is not enough to oppose Chinese totalitarianism, but that it is necessary to offer a democratic alternative.