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Dalai Lama to get Congressional gold medal on Oct 17

October 6, 2007

PTI | September 28, 2007 | 22:38 IST
The Dalai Lama will be bestowed with the Congressional gold medal,
America's highest civilian honour, at a function on October 17, sources
said in Dharamsala on Friday. United States President George W Bush will
also be present at the event.

This will be the first occasion that a sitting US President will appear
with the Dalai Lama in the public event scheduled to be held at the US
Capitol.

Thousands of Tibetans from across the world are expected to gather at
the Capitol on October 17 to mark 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.

The US Congress passed a resolution on September 4 to allow the use of
the Capitol grounds by the International Campaign for Tibet after the
ceremony, the sources said.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, special envoy of the Dalai Lama, said, "Honouring
his Holiness with the Congressional gold medal is a strong endorsement
of the Dalai Lama's tireless commitment to enhancing the principles of
non-violence, religious harmony, tolerance and promoting a sense of
universal responsibility."

The bill to award the Congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama was
passed by the Congress on September 13, 2006 and signed into law by
President Bush on September 28, 2006.

Past recipients of the medal include George Washington, Pope John Paul
II and Noble Peace Laureates such as Nelson Mandela and Elie Wiesel.

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