The Dalai Lama, who is still waiting for a chance to meet with the American President, calls the Nobel Peace prize award “a little early.” Obama, in Norway to accept the prize now, might agree. The DL also expressed optimism about the environmental summit in Copenhagen.

The spiritual leader described Mr Obama as “young and energetic”. “I think the Nobel Peace Prize gives him more encouragement and also gives him more moral personal responsibility,” he said.

President Obama declined to meet the Dalai Lama during a recent visit to Washington, with observers pointing out it may have been awkward to do so just before the President travelled to China.

But the Tibetan leader says he hopes to have a meeting with Mr Obama in the next few months.