Khashyar | March 17, 2010
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.
-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, speaking about the meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Barak Obama on February 18, 2010
Barack Obama Statement Honoring the Awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama – October 17, 2007
Khashyar | December 28, 2008
Barack Obama Statement Honoring the Awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama
Washington, D.C., October 17, 2007 – “His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled leader, stands among the great moral figures of our time. His mission is reflected by personal example – a life led in humility, moral courage and the belief in the redemptive power of human compassion.
Today we celebrate the Dalai Lama, not only as the spiritual rock for the Tibetan people, but also for his tireless advocacy for religious harmony, non-violence and human rights throughout the world.
I am proud and honored to join my colleagues and all Americans in paying tribute to the Dalai Lama. By bestowing on him the Congressional Gold Medal, we send a clear message of our commitment and support for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue through dialogue with the Chinese leadership.
The people of Tibet have a distinct and rich culture, and the Dalai Lama occupies a special place in their Buddhist beliefs and practices. The Dalai Lama has been consistent in his message that he does not seek independence for Tibet, that he supports the integrity and unity of the People’s Republic of China, and that he aims for a solution based on Tibetan autonomy within China.
I am pleased that China has been willing to enter into discussions about Tibet’s future, including inviting the representatives of the Dalai Lama to China for a sixth round of talks earlier this summer.
But it is now time for the Chinese leadership to engage in a dialogue with the Dalai Lama directly, allow him to return to Tibet, and work with him to assure the identity and cultural integrity of Tibet and to address the legitimate needs of the Tibetan people.
Taking such steps will build the basis for long-term stability in this strategic part of that country.”
Khashyar | December 28, 2008
Here is a letter that then Democratic candidate Barak Obama wrote to the Dalai Lama on July 24, 2008, explaining why he was not able to meet him in person during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Aspen, Colorado.
Here is the text of the letter:
July 24, 2008
I regret that our respective travel schedules will prevent us from meeting during your visit to the United States this month, but I wanted to take the opportunity to reassure you of my highest respect and support for you, your mission and your people at this critical time. I hope that this letter and your meeting with Senator McCain will make clear that American attention to and backing for the people of Tibet is widespread and transcends the divisions of our political contest in this important election year.
I was heartened to read of the continuing dialogue between your representatives and the government of the People’s Republic of China. Although progress is likely to be slow, and the travails of the people of Tibet will continue, I am hopeful that the process of dialogue and negotiation will bring positive results if both sides demonstrate good intentions and mutual respect. I remain optimistic that this process will continue beyond the Beijing Olympics, and pledge that I will continue to support it. The right to practice their religious beliefs without punishment or obstruction is one that should be accorded the people of Tibet, and I will continue to encourage the Chinese government to put aside its suspicions and act in accordance with its own constitution.
I will continue to support you and the rights of Tibetans. People of all faiths can admire what you are doing and what you stand for, and I look forward to meeting you at another time.
With great respect,