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29 September, 2007

President Bush to meet Dalai Lama

Spotted on web site this morning:

GEORGE Bush is to become the first American president to meet the Dalai Lama in public.

Mr Bush will meet (The Dalai Lama) next month in a gesture that risks infuriating the Chinese Government. They will meet at a ceremony in front of the symbol of American democracy, the Capitol Building, where the Tibetan leader will be presented with the Congressional Gold Medal.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Special Envoy of the Dalai Lama, said in the ICT statement Thursday, “Honoring His Holiness with the Congressional Gold Medal is a strong endorsement of His Holiness’ tireless commitment to enhancing the principles of non-violence, religious harmony, tolerance, and promoting a sense of universal responsibility.”**
China reacts with fury to any recognition given to the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in 1959, and whom it regularly accuses of trying to "split" Tibet from China.

Last week, China criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel after meeting the Dalai Lama and backing his call for more cultural autonomy for Tibet.
Following the ceremony, the Dalai Lama will speak on the West Lawn of the Capitol. The ceremony will also mark the first time the West Lawn will be used for a Congressional Gold Medal celebration in the medal’s 200-year history.

Thousands of Tibetans and supporters of Tibet are expected to gather for one of the most significant international tributes to the exiled Tibetan leader since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him nearly 20 years ago.**

Read this article on web site.

• Related: the telegraph (London)
• Related: **The Hill web site (Washington, DC)

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