October 05, 2009
As previously mentioned here, the Dalai Lama will visit Washington DC without meeting with the President for the first time since 1991.
This has surprised many, but Clinton never officially received the Dalai Lama in Washington either. His Holiness had to wait until the George W. Bush era to get an official reception. About Dubya, the Dalai Lama famously said just last year, "I love President Bush, because he is very frank, very straightforward. His intentions are good, but some of his policy in spite of his sincere motivation and right goal, and some of his method becomes unrealistic because of lack of understanding about reality."
The Washington Post, noting that the current administration's move "appears to be a nod to the Chinese," minces no words, opening with the following:
In an attempt to gain favor with China, the United States pressured Tibetan representatives to postpone a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Obama until after Obama's summit with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, scheduled for next month, according to diplomats, government officials and other sources familiar with the talks.
For the first time since 1991, the Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Washington this week and not meet with the president. Since 1991, he has been here 10 times. Most times the meetings have been "drop-in" visits at the White House. The last time he was here, in 2007, however, George W. Bush became the first sitting president to meet with him publicly, at a ceremony at the Capitol in which he awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, Congress's highest civilian award.
Read the rest.
Image: The Dalai Lama, shown Saturday in Montreal, will be in Washington this week. It will be his first visit since 1991 in which he has not met with the president. (By Ryan Remiorz -- Associated Press)