Tibet, and The World - 2007
Vote To Be Held On Next Tibetan Leader
(AP, November 27, 2007 India)
The Dalai Lama said the Tibetan people will hold a referendum before he dies to decide whether a new system of leadership would better serve the struggle for self-determination of Tibet.
China has angrily condemned the Nobel Peace Prize winner's proposal, saying it subverted centuries of Buddhist tradition.
Just what form the referendum will take was not immediately clear. But the Dalai Lama's proposal could be a major change in the centuries-old system to choose the spiritual and political head of the Tibetans.
"If people feel that the institution of the Dalai Lama is still necessary, it will continue," he told reporters during a gathering of religious leaders from around the world in this northern Indian city. The Dalai Lama said the vote would be held among all traditional Tibetan Buddhists along the Himalayan range including China, Nepal, India and Mongolia. He gave no timeframe, saying "according to my regular medical checkup, I am good for another few decades." For centuries, the search for the reincarnation of religious leaders, known as lamas — including the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual head — has been carried out by Tibetan monks following the leaders' deaths.
Tibetans fear China will control the search for a successor once the Dalai Lama dies, further eroding the Himalayan region's unique Buddhist culture.
Those concerns were heightened in August when Beijing moved to tighten its grip over Tibetan Buddhism by asserting the officially atheistic communist government's sole right to recognize Buddhist reincarnations of the lamas that form the backbone of the religion's clergy.
The Tibetan leadership in exile has begun exploring several possible ways to prevent this.
First, a referendum would be held to decide if Tibetan Buddhists want to continue with the Dalai Lama system. If they did, the Dalai Lama said he would either be reincarnated after his death outside China or he would choose a new Dalai Lama before he died.
"The very purpose of reincarnation is to carry out the tasks of the previous life that are not yet achieved," the Dalai Lama said. "If I die while we are still refugees, my reincarnation, logically, will come outside Tibet, who will carry out the work I started."
The Tibetan spiritual leader also raised the possibility of naming a new Dalai Lama while he was still alive.
However, the Dalai Lama, acknowledged that the Tibetan exile leadership had not yet decided exactly what course to follow.
"Serious detailed discussions have not yet started," he said.
The Dalai Lama, who has worked to make the Tibetan exile leadership more democratic, acknowledged his death would be difficult for many Tibetans.
"If I die today, there will be some setback to the Tibetan struggle," he said "But the Tibetan spirit will not go away with my death."
Dalai Lama Wants To Name A Successor In Life
(AP, November 23, 2007)
The Dalai Lama expressed his desire to choose a successor even if life, rather than wait for reincarnation, as required by old customs. According to the AP, referring to the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun, this decision the Buddhist leader took after China announced its intention to approve the nomination of the next Dalai Lama. During a visit to Japan he said that he may appoint the successor himself or hold elections among senior Tibetan monks.
According to a tradition, after death of the Dalai Lama monks will search for his new incarnation. After a series of tests, they chose the child, who will be raised further as the future Lama.
Dalai Lama XIV, the current spiritual leader of Buddhists, was forced to flee Tibet and live in exile in India, where he is the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Chinese authorities have accused the Dalai Lama of supporting Tibetan separatists. During the second half of XX century Tibet is fighting for the independence, or the establishment of autonomy from China.
The Dalai Lama's Award Ceremony Broadcast Live To Tibet
(Washington, D.C., October 17, 2007)
As Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal today, Voice of America (VOA) broadcast the award ceremony and the Dalai Lama's acceptance speech live to Tibet via radio, television, and the Internet. The same broadcast included videotaped testimonials of the heads of all six sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Congressional Medal ceremony will be rebroadcast in several formats to Tibet and elsewhere in China and will be available for viewing at www.voanews.com/tibetan/.
In an interview with VOA yesterday, the Dalai Lama expressed support for the Burmese democracy movement, saying that he admired the recent efforts of Buddhist monks and adding that their cause was just. He urged Buddhist members of Burma's military government to remember the Buddhist teachings of "compassion" and "love" as they confront these situations.
Speaking about the ongoing talks with the Chinese government about the status of Tibet, the Dalai Lama told VOA that progress made during earlier rounds of discussion had eroded. "It is difficult to judge things at the moment," he said. "During the last round, the sixth session, they seemed to have hardened their position and attitude." He reiterated that he is seeking autonomy for Tibet, not independence, a position unpopular with many in the Tibetan community.
The Dalai Lama also revealed that his successor might be chosen by a group of senior monks or appointed by himself personally, rather than through the traditional method of reincarnation. In July 2007, Chinese authorities issued a regulation that requires all reincarnations - including the Dalai Lama - to be approved by the government.
The interview with the Dalai Lama was broadcast yesterday on VOA in Tibetan and Mandarin. VOA broadcasts to China in Tibetan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and English via short-wave radio, medium wave radio, satellite television, and webcasts. Programs and schedule information are available online at www.voanews.com/tibetan/ and www.voanews.com/chinese/
Lama Renews Calls For Tibetan Autonomy
(IANS, Vienna, August 19, 2007)
On the last day of his participation in a think tank
meeting in Austria, the Dalai Lama reiterated the "wish
of six million Tibetans for real autonomy". The wish for
autonomy was closely connected with concerns about Tibet's
environment, he was quoted as saying by the Austrian press
agency. While not being generally opposed to modernization,
this must not be used for exploiting Tibet's resources and
speeding up population transfer, he said. He warned that
Tibetans already were a minority in their own country, making
survival of Tibetan Buddhism very difficult. He expressed
hope more Chinese Buddhists would come to Tibet, than Chinese
only wanting to make money. Regarding speculation over his
possible return to Tibet from Indian exile, the Dalai Lama
said on that day he would stop being the Tibetan head of
state and put his fate in the hands of the Tibetan authorities.
He had been preparing for that step since democratizing
the exile government in 2001. "I am already half retired,"
the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said. The 14th Dalai Lama,
spiritual leader of all Tibetan Buddhists, had participated
in a meeting between religious leaders and philosophers
in Austria since Monday. Speaking to journalists at the
sidelines of the meeting, the Dalai Lama said he might meet
Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer Thursday.
Unto Dalai Lama What Is His
(By Frank Ching, Special to The China Post, August 22,
China announced last month new regulations governing
Tibetan Buddhism, including a stipulation that senior monks,
known as "living Buddhas," cannot be reincarnated without
government permission. "The reincarnation of living Buddhas
must undergo application and approval procedures," says
the new regulation. "Living Buddha" reincarnations with
a "particularly great impact," such as presumably of the
next Dalai Lama, "shall be reported to the State Council
for approval." The new regulations, which come into effect
Sept. 1, were issued by the State Religious Affairs Bureau
under the State Council, which implements religious policy
set by the Communist Party. Its director, Ye Xiaowen, far
from being a religious leader, is an alternate member of
the Communist Party's Central Committee, and hence, by definition,
an atheist. It is odd that the atheistic Communist Party
should give itself religious authority -- including the
right to decide when a reincarnation is valid or invalid,
legal or illegal. Clearly, the new regulations are meant
to ensure the Chinese government's control over future Tibetan
religious leaders, in particular future Dalai Lamas. The
current Dalai Lama is 72 years old and lives in exile in
India, beyond Beijing's control. This is a situation that
Beijing wants to change. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama
of being a separatist who advocates Tibetan independence.
Not surprisingly, therefore, an article in the new regulations
declares: "Reincarnating living Buddhas should respect and
protect the principles of the unification of the state...."
It also stipulates that the process of choosing reincarnations
of living Buddhas cannot be influenced by persons or organizations
outside China. This means that the Dalai Lama, the highest
spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, is barred from the
process. The new regulations mean that the Chinese government
will not recognize reincarnations outside the country. The
Dalai Lama has said that if the present situation regarding
Tibet remains unchanged -- that is, a Tibet that does not
enjoy true autonomy -- he will choose to be reincarnated
outside Tibet. But even though the Dalai Lama has numerous
supporters both in Tibet and overseas, his passing will
be a great blow to the Tibetan cause. Even though his followers
may designate a Tibetan boy born in exile as the new Dalai
Lama, it will be many years before that person is in a position
to exercise leadership and be influential internationally.
In the meantime, Beijing will use its own methods to choose
the next Dalai Lama. And that boy will be brought up and
tutored under the eye of the Chinese government. Meanwhile,
many Tibetans in China will have little choice but to accept
the officially designated successor. The new regulations
make official something that has been China's position for
years. In 1995, for example, the Dalai Lama endorsed the
designation of a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the
last Panchen Lama, who had died in 1989. But the Chinese
government picked a different boy and declared him the Panchen
Lama's real reincarnation. Beijing has defended its involvement
in Tibetan religious affairs by citing precedents going
back to the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) of the Mongols and
the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) of the Manchus. The title "living
Buddha" was first conferred on a Tibetan religious leader
in the 13th century by Kublai Khan, the Mongol leader who
founded the Yuan dynasty. But there is a difference. The
Mongols, who governed China during the Yuan dynasty, made
Lamaist Buddhism the official religion and hence had the
greatest respect for Tibetan religious leaders. Similarly,
during the Manchu (Qing) dynasty, the emperor was a patron
of the Dalai Lama. While no doubt the religious activities
of Mongol and Manchu rulers were to some extent a cloak
for justifying their imperial ambitions, they did purport
to uphold and revere the traditions and beliefs of their
various subjects. The situation today, however, is one in
which the Communist Party, whose state religion is atheism,
cannot be seen as either a believer in Buddhism or a patron
of the faith. It is simply the state extending its authority
into religious affairs. This is similar to the current standoff
between China and the Vatican, where Beijing insists on
its right to appoint bishops. Ultimately, it all boils down
to a matter of control. The Chinese government is unwilling
to share power, even over religious matters. On this point,
a biblical injunction seems appropriate: "Render unto Caesar
the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that
Man's Tomatoes Help Tibet
(BRIDGE, July 16th, 2007)
Bridgeton resident Belford Blackman is growing and
selling tomatoes for a cause, attempting to help persecuted
Buddhists in Tibet. A practicing Tibetan Buddhist himself
since 1981, Blackman plans to send all of the proceeds of
the operation to the Dalai Lama, with a note recommending
that the money be put towards helping Tibetan refugee women
and children. "It's very important people know what's going
on in the world," said Blackman. "I'm doing something to
help people who I see are suffering." According to Blackman,
the Chinese government has been attempting to conquer the
people of Tibet, and the Buddhists there are not allowed
to practice their religion. Men are taken from the temples
and put in prison and tortured. This situation, says Blackman,
creates a refugee population of Tibetan children and their
mothers, with no one to take care of them. According to
Blackman, many escape to Northern India, but some sort of
relief is needed. To organize that relief, Blackman started
Nepal Tomato, named after the Tibetan refugees who flee
to Nepal, bringing precious tomato seeds. He has planted
1,350 tomato plants in the yard of his house, and has made
arrangements with local markets in the Bridgeton area to
sell his tomatoes. Blackman will also use some tomatoes
to make gazpacho, which will be served at a local seafood
restaurant. In addition, the tomatoes will be sold in front
of Blackman's house, All of the proceeds will go directly
to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugees. Also, Blackman
has been making the rounds visiting local religious leaders
in area, including Catholics, Protestants and Jews, getting
support for the charity. The tomatoes will be ready for
the market in about 10 to 14 days, according to Blackman,
but the plants are coming along well. "They're getting gigantic,
and I'm going to continue growing them until the season
ends," he said. Blackman plans to make the project a seasonal,
yearly endeavor, citing the importance of the cause. "They
need help over there," said Blackman. "Hopefully this will
provide some of the relief they need."
Jason Laday - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lama Turns 72
(Dharamsala, July 6th, 2007)
The Dalai Lama turns 72 on July 6. As he ages the Dalai
Lama is making a profusion of statements about his own mortality.
At times, he has indicated that he might choose to be the
last Dalai Lama; and even proposed ‘democratic’ modalities
for ending the institution. But he has also said: “If I die
in exile, and if the Tibetan people wish to continue the institution
of the Dalai Lama, my reincarnation will not be born under
Chinese control … That reincarnation … will be outside, in
the free world. This I can say with absolute certainty.” He
has also stated that the purpose of his repeated incarnations
is to continue unfinished work and, as such, if the situation
in Tibet remains unchanged, it is very likely that he will
be reborn to finish his work. The Dalai Lama is the 14th in
an ‘incarnate’ successive lineage of Tibetan lamas launched
in the 16th century when the name ‘Dalai’ (‘Ocean’) was given
to a ‘Living Buddha’ of the Gelug sect, and from 17th century
the Dalai Lama was the head of the Tibetan government. Winner
of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, the 14th Dalai Lama has been
primarily responsible for keeping the Tibet question active
Internationally. In his major pronouncements, the Dalai Lama
has taken the stand that Tibet has been an independent nation
from ancient times; that it has been a strategic ‘buffer state’
in the heart of Asia guaranteeing the region’s stability;
that it has never ‘conceded’ its ‘sovereignty’ to China or
any other foreign power; that China’s control over Tibet is
in the nature of ‘occupation’ by a ‘colonial’ power; and that
‘the Tibetan people have never accepted the loss of national
Lama Remains Hopeful That China Would Change Its Attitude
Towards Tibet Within His Lifetime
(MELBOURNE, June 14th, 2007)
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama said that
Tibetan culture faced decimation within 15 years unless pressure
can be exerted on China to accept Tibetan autonomy, the Sydney
Morning Herald reported. The Dalai Lama said he was a surprisingly
popular figure among some ordinary Chinese, but was considered
an enemy of the state by the Chinese Government. He accused
China of distorting Tibet's modest claims for autonomy and
of mistaking it as a push for independence. Despite decades
of fruitless diplomatic negotiations, the Dalai Lama said
he remained hopeful, even optimistic, that China would change
its attitude towards Tibet within his lifetime. The Nobel
laureate was to meet with Sydney business leaders where he
was to impart his wisdom for alleviating personal stress and
global tensions. The spiritual leader's visit was overshadowed
by a warning China issued soon after Prime Minister John Howard
agreed to meet him this week. Beijing said it could harm relations
between the two nations. In an address to the National Press
Club in Canberra on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama said Tibetans
would better manage their own environment and internal affairs,
but China could retain control of foreign affairs and defense.
"Just to suppress with more military is only a temporary answer,"
he said. "Our approach is not seeking independence, not seeking
separation regardless of past history."
Guru Rinpoche's Statue Demolished in Tibet
(TCHRD, June 05, 2007)
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
received confirmed information from reliable sources that,
in mid May 2007 Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) demolished
a colossal statue of Guru Padmasambava, popularly known as
Guru Rinpoche, of the Samye Monastery, and that rubble from
the statue's destruction is being transported to unknown location
according to reports emanating from the area. Coinciding with
the Buddhist holy month of Saka Dawa, a convoy of Chinese
PAP came to the Samye Monastery and forcibly demolished a
nearly completed huge gold and copper plated statue of Guru
Padmasambhava. The statue was constructed with the fund of
about 800,000 Chinese Yuan generously donated by two Chinese
devotees from the highly industrialized Mainland city of Guangzhou
in Guangdong Province. The sponsors and the local people were
reportedly highly disappointed and saddened by this unthinkable
act of demolishing a structure of such religious importance.
Samye Monastery is located at the bank of Yarlung Tsangpo
River and is believed to be the first Tibetan monastery ever
built in Tibet in the year 779 under the able supervision
of Tibetan King Trisong Detsen. It was then handed over to
the famous Buddhist master Padmasambhava who continued the
construction of the monastery. In order to cover up the information
from being leaked outside, the Chinese PAP accordingly quickly
barred pilgrims, devotees and foreign tourists from visiting
Samye Monastery. A huge network of Chinese PAP were deployed
around the monastery area. Few local Tibetan devotees after
questioning the monks of the monastery about the demolition
did not dare to disclose any information. The monastery officials
told the devotees that the statue was demolished because a
new religious structure cannot be built without official consent.
One local Tibetan told TCHRD that, "Tibetans in Lhoka, particularly
in Dranang County did not dare to challenge the officials
openly but deep inside their heart, people fear and worry
that the demolition of Guru Rinpoche's statue and transportation
of its rubble bear a resemblance to the dark era of the Cultural
Conference Agrees on Roadmap for Peace in Tibet
(EU, May 19th, 2007)
The 5th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups
ended in Brussels May 14 after agreeing on a concise action
plan that will serve as a roadmap for the Tibet movement for
the coming years. The action plan covers four areas: political
support for negotiations, human rights, environment and development,
and the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, and is described as
very powerful and a “great success” - one of the most successful
conferences despite the absence of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama. The issue of Tibet is not only the concern of Tibetans,
but India’s security is linked with Tibet. 10 major river
systems including the Brahmaputra, Sutlej, Indus, Mekong,
Yangtze emanate from Tibet. India’s security and environmental
future is linked with Tibet. 47 percent of the world population
depends on the water flowing from Tibet. China is trying to
totally destroy the distinct identity of Tibetans by rapid
Sinoisation of the Tibetan plateau by massive migration of
Han Chinese population into Tibet. Dalai Lama is prepared
to settle for what has been described as the Middle Path or
a genuine autonomy. The conference brought 300 participants
from 145 Tibet Support Groups and 36 Tibetan Associations
from about 56 countries. The Belgian government, under Chinese
pressure, requested Dalai Lama to cancel his attendance at
the conference. A Belgian trade delegation led by Crown Prince
Filip is to visit China next month.
Panchen Lama Turns 18 in Chinese Custody
(FTC, April 25th, 2007)
The boy recognized by the Dalai Lama as Tibet's 11th
Panchen Lama turns 18 today after spending almost twelve years
under Chinese captivity. The Panchen Lama, regarded as one
of Tibet's most important religious figures, was abducted
by the Chinese state in May 1995 at the age of six and became
the world's youngest political prisoner. China has flatly
rejected all requests for information on his whereabouts and
well-being from national governments, the EU and UN and it
remains unclear what China's intentions are for the long-term
future of the boy.
Lama's Public Speeches from Maui Can Be Heard via the Internet
(Maui News HI, April 15th, 2007)
Cutting-edge technology will carry the message of peace
and compassion of the 14th Dalai Lama from Maui to the rest
of the world through a real-time Webcast that will bring his
public presentations on Maui April 24 and 25 to a global audience.
Anyone with broadband access will be able to see and hear
the Nobel Prize-winning spiritual and political leader’s teachings
on “The Approach to World Peace” April 24 and “Eight Verses
of Training the Mind: A Buddhist Philosophical Discourse”
April 25, 2007.
of Tibet hits 2.81 million
(Xinhua China, April 15th, 2007)
The population of Tibet Autonomous Region climbed to
2.81 million last year, up 40,000 from 2005, according to
the latest report on the region's social and economic development.
The growth rate averaged 1.17 percent, with a birthrate of
1.74 percent and a death rate of 0.57 percent, said the report,
jointly published by Tibet's regional bureau of statistics
and a survey team of China National Bureau of Statistics.
It said the life expectancy of the regional population averaged
67 years, compared with 35.5 years in 1950, the year of Tibet's
occupation. While the report didn't give a breakdown of Tibetans
as against other ethnic groups, it said the more than 2.5
million Tibetans made up 92 percent of the regional population
in the most recent census in 2003. Tibet's average is less
than three people per square kilometer. The region spans 1.2
million square kilometers, twice the size of France. Tibet
had only 1.14 million people in 1950. The death toll in Tibet
since the invasion of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
in 1950 has been estimated at a median of 600,000. China's
family planning policy, which limits most urban couples to
one child and rural families to two, does not apply to Tibetans.
Lama Says Tibetan Issue Will Not End With His Passing Away
(CNN-IBN, April 9th, 2007)
The Dalai Lama has said that the Chinese leadership should
not hope that the issue of Tibet will end if he were to pass
away in exile. In a wide-ranging interview to the Indian TV
news channel CNN-IBN, broadcast on April 8, 2007, the Dalai
Lama said, "So long the Tibetan people remain, this issue
- unless you solve is practically and realistically - will
repression in Tibet is 'getting worse' in 2007
(Reuters, March 10th, 2007)
INDIA - An India-based human rights watchdog has denounced
China for human rights abuses in Tibet last year and predicted
that religious repression would get worse in 2007. New religious
affairs regulations which took effect in January were "designed
to harness loyalty to the state from the monastic community
and to stamp out the Dalai Lama from the hearts and minds
of Tibetan people", the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and
Democracy said. "In light of the new regulations, religious
repression in Tibet seems set to escalate further in 2007,"
the Dharamsala-based center said in its annual report on human
rights in the Himalayan region.
Lama Named Professor At Emory
(AP, February 5th, 2007)
ATLANTA - The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader,
has been named a presidential distinguished professor at Emory
University. It's the first university appointment the 1989
Nobel Peace Prize winner has accepted, according to a statement
from Emory. Emory is setting up a scholarship in the Dalai
Lama's name for Tibetan students attending Emory undergraduate
and graduate schools.
laureates former Polish president Lech Walesa, and Archbishop
Laureates Urge China To Free Tibet
(International Campaign for Tibet, February 1, 2007)
Nobel laureate and former Polish president Lech Walesa
called for a coalition of nations - that believed in Mahatma
Gandhi's Satyagraha movement of nonviolent resistance -
to prevail upon China to free Tibet. Walesa who led a movement
that brought down the communist dictatorship in Poland in
1989, said Tibet's freedom could not be achieved by the
use of military force, but by a change of heart of the Chinese
government. His comments came after another Nobel laureate,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, advocated independence for Tibet
at a function to award him the Gandhi Peace Prize in Delhi
on January 31, 2007. "We thank you (India) for giving refuge
to one of the greatest human beings, Dalai Lama, and pray
that you help bring about freedom of his Tibet," - Tutu
was quoted by the local media as saying, at the function
that was attended by top Indian leaders.
1,142 km rail link Qinghai-Lhasa
Rail Link Destroying Tibet: Dalai Lama
(International Campaign for Tibet, February 1, 2007)
The Dalai Lama accused Beijing of using a new railway
link to flood Tibet with poor Chinese villagers forced to
railway link is a real danger,” said the spiritual leader.
Besides destroying the cultural identity of Tibet, the railway,
dubbed the “second invasion of Tibet”, was an environmental
threat because it was helping China mine at very high altitudes.
House Rates Tibet Worst in Political Rights and Civil Liberties
(International Campaign for Tibet, January 18th, 2007)
Freedom House, an independent non-governmental organization
that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has rated
Tibet "worst" in terms of political rights and civil liberties
in its survey for 2006, released on January 17, 2007.
Warming Blamed as Tibet Temperatures Soar
(January 17th, 2007)
TIBET is witnessing an unusual winter this year with
day temperatures breaking old records.
Lama Concerned Over Growing Chinese Population in Tibet
(ANI, January 15th, 2007)
Tibetan spiritual leader in exile the Dalai Lama today
expressed concern over the growing Chinese population in Tibet.
The Dalai Lama, who spoke on "Ethics in Human Development",
said that Tibetans' demand for autonomy was being compromised
by the Chinese authorities who were deliberately increasing
their population in Tibet through immigration in the name
of development. "For meaningful autonomy in Tibet, its population
should remain largely Tibetan," the Dalai Lama said."
News From Tibet, and The World - 2006
Monitoring Body Urges UN to Discuss Human Rights Violations
(International Campaign for Tibet, December 4th, 2006)
A UN monitoring organization, UN Watch, has urged the United
Nations Human Rights Council to consider the issue of China's
violation of human rights in Tibet as it holds a special session
on the situation in Darfur.
2008: Race for Tibet
(International Campaign for Tibet)
2008 Olympics: A Race for Tibet ICT urges Beijing to end
human rights abuses and resolve the issue of Tibet through
negotiations with the Dalai Lama.
Lama Calls for Dialogue on Tragic Global Conflicts
(International Campaign for Tibet, November 15th, 2006)
The Dalai Lama has welcomed an initiative by The Washington
Post and Newsweek to begin an online discussion about religion
and has suggested that the "dialogue should not only be limited
to conversations about different belief systems, but more
importantly on how together we can make an effort to deal
with some of the tragic conflicts that confront us today."
Bush Signs Into Law the Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal
(International Campaign for Tibet, September 28th, 2006)
September 27, 2006, President George Bush signed into law
the "Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act,"
which authorizes Congress to award the Dalai Lama the Congressional
Gold Medal of Honor.