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US Organisation to Award Democracy Service Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

February 13, 2010

Central Tibetan Administraion (CTA)
February 12, 2010

Washington -- The National Endowment for
Democracy (NED) will present His Holiness the
Dalai Lama with the Democracy Service Medal in
recognition of the His Holiness' commitment to
advancing the principles of democracy and human
dignity on Friday, 19 February 2010 at 10:30 am
in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is expected to
address an audience of approximately 500 at his
only public appearance during his upcoming Washington visit.

Commenting on the significance of the honour for
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan
people, NED President Carl Gershman said, "The
struggle of the Tibetan people to preserve their
culture is world renowned. What is little known,
however, is that the Dalai Lama, even before
leaving Tibet, sought to implement significant
reforms in the system of government. Only in
exile was the Dalai Lama able to implement those
reforms. Today, the Tibetan community in exile
operates under a democratic constitution, with an
elected National Assembly and a Supreme Court,
with day-to-day powers vested in an elected prime
minister. The Dalai Lama himself has often said
that it is not enough to oppose Chinese
totalitarianism, but that it is necessary to offer a democratic alternative."

"Because the Tibetan people have transformed
their suffering into a source of moral strength,
they have become an inspiration to others who
have suffered injustice," Carl Gershman added.

The award ceremony is open to press and coverage
is invited, the organisers said.

The National Endowment for Democracy is a
private, nonprofit, bipartisan grant-making
organisation created in 1983 to strengthen
democratic institutions around the world. It is
active in more than 90 countries, supporting
grassroots, democratic initiatives. To learn more
about NED and the Democracy Service Medal, visit
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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