In the High—and Hot—Seat

In April, the Dalai Lama’s U.S. tour included two symposia on science and religion, one at Stanford University in California, the other at Columbia University in New York City. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was hosted by Gelek Rinpoche and the Jewel Heart Buddhist Center and received the Paul Wallenberg Human Rights Award.

Gelek Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during His Holiness' April tour of the United States. Bill Levett.
Gelek Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during His Holiness’ April tour of the United States. Bill Levett.

At St. Peter’s Church in New York, His Holiness was also presented with a Peace Award from the New York Lawyers Alliance for World Security in conjunction with the Council on Foreign Relations. Richard Gere, who presented the award, noted that according to both Asia Watch and Amnesty International, human rights violations in Tibet had increased in the past year.

This year marks the thirty-fifth year of exile for Tibet’s spiritual leader, who has successfully called universal attention to the plight of his people. Yet there are growing numbers of militant young Tibetans who have become restless with His Holiness’ commitment to nonviolent negotiations with China and who have advocated guerrilla warfare.

During His Holiness’ U.S. tour, he did not shy away from questions relating to the Congressional debate on most-favored-nation status for China, but reiterated his commitment to peaceful means:

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