“In this long battle – as in any long battle – good leaders like the Dalai Lama and Tom Lantos are necessary. But they are not enough. And our praise for them cannot serve as proxy for our commitment to carry on until every man, woman and child on this planet is free to realize their potential.” – Tomicah Tillemann, Grandson of Tom Lantos
Among his many human rights accomplishments, Tom Lantos’ historic invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to attend a formal meeting of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1987 stands out, as it opened and deepened the relationship of the United States Government with His Holiness. In October of 2009, The Lantos Foundation continued this relationship by honoring His Holiness in Washington, DC and awarding him with the first inaugural Lantos Human Rights Prize.
The ceremony, held at the Congressional Auditorium in the United States Capital Visitors Center, brought together an overflowing audience of government leaders, foreign dignitaries, and human rights activists and idealists. Speakers included Senator John McCain, Congressman Howard Berman, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Press coverage after the event was widespread. Articles in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The San Mateo County Times showcased the event and brought to light the controversy as China accused the United States of meddling in its domestic affairs after the Dalai Lama was recognized for his efforts to improve human rights.
The Washington Post - China tells US to back off after the Dalai Lama Award
Concord Monitor: Dalia Lama surely deserves an invitation to the White House
Roll Call: Obama Should Meet with the Dalai Lama Soon
First Recipient of Lantos Human Rights Prize is His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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