WASHINGTON (July 16, 2011) — President Barack Obama held a meeting with His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama last week at The White House Office, according to the Press Secretary who released an office statement. The President reiterated his strong support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet and the Tibetan people throughout the world. He underscored the importance of the protection of human rights of Tibetans in China.
The President commended the Dalai Lama’s commitment to nonviolence and dialogue with China and his pursuit of the “Middle Way” approach. Reiterating the U.S. policy that Tibet is a part of the People’s Republic of China and the United States does not support independence for Tibet, the President stressed that he encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces results would be positive for China and Tibetans.
The President stressed the importance he attaches to building a U.S.-China cooperative partnership. The Dalai Lama stated that he is not seeking independence for Tibet and hopes that dialogue between his representatives and the Chinese government can soon resume.
The White House meeting lasted approximately 45 minutes. The President introduced his two daughters to His Holiness before the discussions began.
Following lunch, His Holiness granted an interview to TV anchorwoman Ann Curry of NBC. The conversation reportedly ranged on his meeting with President Obama, about his future reincarnation, and about Tibetan-Chinese dialogue.
From there His Holiness went to the Verizon Center to lead the ritual dismantling of the Kalachakra Sand Mandala, a portion of which was poured into the Anacostia River at the Yards Park in South East Washington, D.C. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the pouring of the sacred sand into the river will also bless it. His Holiness returned to the Verizon to do the concluding prayers before returning to his hotel.
The Office of His Holiness reported the following day that on his last full day of stay in Washington, D.C. during this visit, the Dalai Lama first bestowed the longevity of White Tara to the people. A long life prayer was conducted for His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the organizers of the teachings.
Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche recited the attributes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, his contribution to humanity and the recognition he has been receiving from the international community. He told the crowd of faithful that he enjoyed good physical health, and said his physician called him a young patient despite being 76 years old.
The Dalai Lama was in Washington for close consultation between his office and the organizing committee of the Kalachakra for World Peace 2011, and to meet with the Capital Area Tibetan Association.
Funds raised from the conference would be distributed among local, national and international charitable and humanitarian causes. Among the selected international causes include efforts to alleviate the ongoing hunger crisis being faced in East African countries and the Tsunami Relief Effort in Japan. In Washington, local charities that are being selected include those that are dedicated to helping the homeless, the Booker T. Washington Public Charter School for the Technical Arts, the Humane Society.
His Holiness visited the Booker T. Washington School in November 2005 and was greatly impressed by the dedication of the students, the majority of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds. Another thirty per cent will be allocated to the Capital Area Tibetan Association and for The Dalai Lama Trust established in 2009 to support the advancement and welfare of the Tibetan people and their culture and heritage.
His Holiness departs from Washington, D.C. on July 17, 2011 for Chicago for a two-day program on “Bridging the Faith Divide” organized by the Theosophical Society. The programs will be webcast on http://iclips.net/watch/dalai-lama-public-talk.