Washington, D.C., October 17, 2007 - As Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal today, Voice of America (VOA) broadcast the award ceremony and the Dalai Lama's acceptance speech live to Tibet via radio, television, and the Internet. The same broadcast included videotaped testimonials of the heads of all six sects of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Congressional Medal ceremony will be rebroadcast in several formats to Tibet and elsewhere in China and will be available for viewing at www.voanews.com/tibetan/.
In an interview with VOA yesterday, the Dalai Lama expressed support for the Burmese democracy movement, saying that he admired the recent efforts of Buddhist monks and adding that their cause was just. He urged Buddhist members of Burma's military government to remember the Buddhist teachings of "compassion" and "love" as they confront these situations.
Speaking about the ongoing talks with the Chinese government about the status of Tibet, the Dalai Lama told VOA that progress made during earlier rounds of discussion had eroded. "It is difficult to judge things at the moment," he said. "During the last round, the sixth session, they seemed to have hardened their position and attitude." He reiterated that he is seeking autonomy for Tibet, not independence, a position unpopular with many in the Tibetan community.
The Dalai Lama also revealed that his successor might be chosen by a group of senior monks or appointed by himself personally, rather than through the traditional method of reincarnation. In July 2007, Chinese authorities issued a regulation that requires all reincarnations - including the Dalai Lama - to be approved by the government.
The interview with the Dalai Lama was broadcast yesterday on VOA in Tibetan and Mandarin. VOA broadcasts to China in Tibetan, Mandarin, Cantonese, and English via shortwave radio, medium wave radio, satellite television, and webcasts. Programs and schedule information are available online at www.voanews.com/tibetan/ and www.voanews.com/chinese/
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
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