The Fourteenth Dalai Lama Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

“World Peace Must Develop From Inner Peace,
Peace Is Not The Absence Of Violence
Peace Is The Manifestation Of Human Compassion”
The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama was in Washington DC to receive the highest civilian honour given by the US government: The Congressional Gold Medal (see image below). In a ceremony attended by Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi and representatives of Congress, President Bush became the first sitting US president to meet publicly with the leader to present him with the medal.

The Medal is designed and struck individually to honor each specific recipient. Past honorees have included the first recipient: George Washington, Pope John Paul II, Rosa Parks, Winston Churchill, Jackie Robinson and John Wayne, the actor.

The Dalai Lama has been in a long political struggle with China over the status of Tibet, his homeland, since he fled the country for India in 1959 to escape capture and probable imprisonment. China invaded Tibet in 1950, and has occupied it since, resisting attempts to recognize the country’s independent identity, language or culture within the Peoples Republic Of China, let alone its independence.

The Dalai Lama has appealed to the United Nations on Tibet’s status over the years. This resulted in three resolutions adopted by the General Assembly in 1959, 1961, 1965. The resolutions required China “to respect the human rights of Tibetans and their desire for self-determination. In 1963, he instituted a democratic constitution which is based upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A Tibetan parliament-in-exile was elected by the Tibetan refugees scattered all over the world, and the Tibetan Government in Exile is currently elected by the Tibetan parliament”, according to Wikipedia.

Respected and admired by leaders across all political and religious spectrum’s, the Dalai Lama celebrated his seventy second birthday on July 5, 2007.

A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and numerous awards from around the world, he has met with presidents and spiritual leaders including the late Pope John Paul II and Desmond Tutu. He was also named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Wikipedia: Information on the current (Tenzin Gyatso) or past Dalai Lama’s.