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Tibetans in Taipei celebrate Dalai Lama's US medal

October 20, 2007

Tapei Times
Oct 19, 2007,

Tibetans in Taiwan held a celebration yesterday in Taipei as the Dalai Lama was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

"The Congressional Gold Medal is a recognition of the Dalai Lama's contribution to peace, nonviolence and freedom," Tsegyam, chairman of the Tibet Religious
Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, told a crowd of around 100 Tibetans.

"It's not just an honor for the Dalai Lama, but an honor for all Tibetans," said Tsegyam, whose foundation serves as the representative office of the Tibetan
government-in-exile in Taiwan.

Tsegyam also urged Beijing to end repression of Tibetans.

"Many Tibetans who participated in nonviolent protests were arrested; there are even elementary school children who were jailed simply for writing `Dalai Lama' on
the wall," Tsegyam said. "I'd like to call on China to release these people."

"Only when the People's Republic of China completely understands Tibet can the Tibet issue be resolved," he said.

Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association president Rinzin Tsering said that Beijing is not sincere about holding a dialogue with Tibetan dissidents, adding that six
dialogues between the Dalai Lama and China have led nowhere.

Tibetan folk songs were performed at the celebration to honor a portrait of the Dalai Lama in a traditional show of respect.

"Tibetans are waiting for the day ... [when they can] return to their native land, Tibet," he said.

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