Dharamsala: There was marked jubilation among Tibetans at Mclodganj near here , the seat of power of Tibetan government in exile following receipt of the news that their spiritual head and political master, Dalai Lama was given Congressional Gold Medal by the US house.
Thousands of Tibetans gathered at the Tsuglakhang, the main temple at an official function held here this morning, to commemorate the conferment of US the Dalai Lama. They danced in joy and sang songs to commemorate this event.
The US Congress bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama is their highest recognition and respect for Dalai Lama’s commitment to all his spiritual and temporal endeavors,” said Tsering Phuntsok, the acting Prime Minister of Tibetan government in exile. He said the recognition is a clear sign of US Congress’ support in resolving the issue of Tibet .
“Taking the opportunity on this momentous occasion, on behalf of all Tibetans living in and outside Tibet, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration expressed its gratitude to the two Houses of the US Congress and President George W Bush,” he said.
He expressed appreciation and gratitude for the voluntary support on the issue of Tibet by various Tibet Support Groups and human rights activist based in every corner of the world.
He further urged Chinese government to bring about positive development in Tibet and immediate release of political prisoners including Panchen Lama, Tulku Tenzin Delek, Rungye Adrak, Jamyang Gyatso.
In her address, Deputy Speaker, Dolma Gyari expressed appreciation for the US Congress and President Bush in honoring their leader with the top civilian award.
Earlier, the US President George Bush and Congress conferred the Dalai Lama with the top US civilian award – the Congressional Gold Medal at an elaborate ceremony in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building yesterday.
George W. Bush, the first sitting U.S. president to appear in public event with the Dalai Lama, despite strong objections from China and urged the government in Beijing to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader back to the country.
The President described the Dalai Lama, a “universal symbol of peace and tolerance.”
He said, “I will continue to urge the leaders of China to welcome the Dalai Lama to China ,” adding that “They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation.” He said “Americans cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and close our eyes or turn away.”
On receiving the top US gold medal, Dalai Lama said, he was “deeply touched” to receive such a “great honor”. “I believe that this award also sends a powerful message to those individuals who are dedicated to promoting peace,” he said.
On the future of Tibet , he reiterated categorically that he is not seeking independence and have no intention of using any agreement on autonomy as a stepping stone for Tibet ‘s independence.