Dalai Lama congratulates Obama on Nobel prize

October 10th, 2009 - 1:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Oct 10 (DPA) The Dalai Lama congratulated US President Barack Obama on his award of the Nobel Peace Prize, ignoring criticism over Obama’s refusal to meet with him before he travels to China.
The letter from the 1989 peace prize winner late Friday said it was important for American leaders to adopt “principled” leadership based on the country’s founding ideals of “freedom and liberty”.

“Such an approach will not only enhance the reputation of the US, but also contribute tremendously to reducing tension in the world,” he wrote.

Obama caused a flurry earlier this week by delaying the traditional visit by the Dalai Lama to the White House until after his summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao in China next month.

The Dalai Lama has led the fight against China’s oppression of human rights in Tibet from exile for decades. China objects when its diplomatic partners meet with the Dalai Lama.

Human rights advocates have criticised Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying they have downgraded the importance of confronting China on rights abuses.

But the Dalai Lama on Monday acknowledged the need for American engagement with China and agreed to attend the postponed meeting with Obama after the summit.

In his letter on Friday, the spiritual leader wrote that he was pleased the Nobel committee had recognised Obama’s approach towards resolving international conflicts “through the wisdom and power of dialogue”.

“The 20th century was a century of bloodshed and all of us have the responsibility to make the 21st century a century of dialogue and co-operation,” the Dalai Lama wrote to Obama.

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