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Dalai Lama to get Congressional gold medal on Oct 17

Source: PTI
September 28, 2007 22:38 IST
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The Dalai Lama will be bestowed with the Congressional gold medal, America's highest civilian honour, at a function on October 17, sources said in Dharamsala on Friday. United States President George W Bush will also be present at the event.


This will be the first occasion that a sitting US President will appear with the Dalai Lama  in the public event scheduled to be held at the US Capitol.


Thousands of Tibetans from across the world are expected to gather at the Capitol on October 17 to mark one of the most significant international tributes to the exiled Tibetan leader, since the Nobel peace prize was awarded to him nearly 20 years ago.


The US Congress passed a resolution on September 4 to allow the use of the Capitol grounds by the International Campaign for Tibet after the ceremony, the sources said.


Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, special envoy of the Dalai Lama, said, "Honouring his Holiness with the Congressional gold medal is a strong endorsement of the Dalai Lama's tireless commitment to enhancing the principles of non-violence, religious harmony, tolerance and promoting a sense of universal responsibility."


The bill to award the Congressional gold medal to the Dalai Lama was passed by the Congress on September 13, 2006 and signed into law by President Bush on September 28, 2006.


Past recipients of the medal include George Washington, Pope John Paul II and Noble Peace Laureates such as Nelson Mandela and Elie Wiesel.

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