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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama honored at Harvard

May 3, 2009

By Bhuchung D. Sonam
May 1, 2009

Boston, April 30 -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
was conferred a citation by Harvard University today.

"Such honor was given to a very few select
leaders of the world. By giving this citation
Harvard University has shown the highest respect
and honor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” said
Dr. Lobsang Sangay, research fellow at Harvard
Law School and the chief coordinator of His Holiness’s New England visit.

The citation was given in recognition of the
Tibetan leader’s work on peaceful solutions to
the international conflicts, global environment
problems and "for inspiring a new generation to
seek innovative solutions to old problems.” The
director of the University’s Marshal Office,
Jacqueline O’Neil, gave the citation during a special luncheon.

In another recognition of His Holiness’s
contribution to the global environment, the
university honored His Holiness to plant a birch
tree in front of the Harvard Memorial Church
located at the centre of famous Harvard Yard.
“This tree brings us closer to the nature.
Sometimes in big cities we become distant from
nature due to all the machineries made from
metals. Trees and flowers remind us that we are
part of nature, which is very important,” said His Holiness.

The birch tree is a hybrid between monarch birch
from Asia known for its beautiful and large
heart-shaped leaves and paper birch from North
America and eastern and western varieties.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognizes the
significance of trees. With this tree planted
here today Harvard recognizes the Dalai Lama,"
said President Drew Gilpin Faust in her
introduction to the tree planting ceremony.

According to Faust, the hybrid was "especially
created for this occasion" to represent Dalai
Lama’s contribution to bridge the gap between the east and the west.

"In the history of Harvard University only two
persons have had the great honor to plant trees
in the Yard. One was a long-time president of
Harvard and the second one is His Holiness the
Dalai Lama. I am extremely happy that Harvard has
conferred such an honor to His Holiness,” said Sangay.

Apart from thousands of students and staff
members of the university, Harvard Yard is being
visited by hundreds of thousand of tourists from all over the world.
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