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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Obama-Dalai Lama meeting an opportunity for "an engaging and constructive dialogue"

February 14, 2010

The International Campaign (ICT)
ICT Press Release
February 12, 2010

The International Campaign for Tibet welcomes the
meeting announced yesterday between President
Obama and His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an
opportunity both to deepen their relationship and
discuss forward steps in U.S. support for the
Dalai Lama's leadership and his approach of
seeking a solution for Tibet through dialogue
with the People's Republic of China.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said that
the White House meeting is set for February 18
and "The Dalai Lama is an internationally
respected religious leader and spokesman for
Tibetan rights, and the President looks forward
to an engaging and constructive dialogue."

Mary Beth Markey, Vice President for
International Advocacy at the International
Campaign for Tibet, said, "We also hope for a
constructive meeting as the Tibetan people have
demonstrated to the world their increasing
frustration with the situation in Tibet, and many
are suffering for doing so. We believe that
President Obama understands what is at stake for
the Tibetan people and has a role to play as the
leader of a nation founded on universal principles of freedom and justice."

The White House meeting follows discussions on
Tibet in Beijing between Presidents Obama and Hu
at the US-China Summit in November, and the ninth
round of dialogue between the Dalai Lama's envoys
and Chinese officials on January 30 and 31.

During the eighth round of dialogue in
October/November 2008, the Dalai Lama's envoys
presented to the government of the People's
Republic of China a "Memorandum on Genuine
Autonomy for the Tibetan People," which they
followed with a Note during the
recently-concluded ninth round.  The Dalai Lama
is seeking the exercise by all Tibetans of
autonomous rights identified in the Chinese
Constitution, and the Memorandum and Note are
expressions of his Middle-Way approach, which
means the pursuit of a mutually acceptable and
beneficial solution achieved through
negotiations, in the spirit of reconciliation and compromise.

It will be the first meeting between President
Obama and the Dalai Lama as two Nobel Peace
Laureates (2009 and 1989, respectively).  In this
capacity, and as is typical for the Dalai Lama,
it is expected that he will also raise issues of
global concern with his fellow Peace Laureate.

The meeting reflects an historic and
internationally-shared recognition of the Dalai
Lama as an important and valued spokesperson for
human rights and human dignity, a record of U.S.
programmatic and political support for the
Tibetan people's struggle against oppression, and
the precedence of meetings between U.S. Presidents and the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama arrives in Washington, D.C. on the
afternoon of February 17. His visit is primarily
to meet with President Obama. On the 19th
morning, he will receive the Democracy Service
Medal from the National Endowment for Democracy
at a ceremony at the Library of Congress.  He
departs Washington, D.C. thereafter.

Press contacts:
Kate Saunders
Director of Communications, ICT
Tel: +44 (0) 7947 138612
Email: press@savetibet.org

Ben Carrdus
Senior Researcher, ICT
Tel: +1 (202) 697-9602
Email: press@savetibet.org

Holly Shulman
Rabinowitz-Dorf Communications
Tel: +1 (202) 265-3000
Email: holly@rabinowitz-dorf.com
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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