Lawmakers on Capitol Hill honored the Dalai Lama with a human rights award on Tuesday.
The Dalai Lama said the award encourages him, at 74, to dedicate the rest of his life to the “promotion of human affection and compassion, and equality and basic human rights in Tibet, or in mainland China, or everywhere.”
Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said at the ceremony that “unless we speak out for human rights in China and in Tibet, we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights anywhere in the world.”
While in Washington, D.C., His Holiness, the Dalai Lama also met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Committee Chairman Senator John Kerry released the following statement today after meeting with the Dalai Lama:
“Today the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama, continuing a close relationship that goes back more than two decades. I am honored to exchange views with this Nobel Peace Prize winner. He will always be welcome here.
“I am very pleased that President Obama has agreed to meet the Dalai Lama in December following his summit meeting with President Hu Jintao.
“The members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee discussed a wide range of issues with His Holiness, including the Dalai Lama’s tireless efforts to forge reconciliation with China and advance the human rights of Tibetans through peaceful dialogue.
“We also discussed global issues, including the threat climate change poses not only to the people of Tibet, but also to the 3 billion people who live in lands watered by the seven great rivers of Asia that rise in Tibet – the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, the Irrawaddy, the Salween, the Mekong, the Yangtze, and the Yellow River.”