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.


Links - 

The Washington Post - China tells US to back off after the Dalai Lama Award

Concord Monitor: Dalai Lama surely deserves an invitation to the White House

NPR: White House Not On Dalai Lama's D.C. Tour

Pelosi Remarks Upon Presentation of Inaugural Lantos Human Rights Prize to the Dalai Lama

KTVU.COM: Dalai Lamam Accepts Lantos Human Rights Prize

Roll Call: Obama Should Meet with the Dalai Lama Soon

CNN: Dalai Lama urges U.S. to address rich-poor issue

Concord Monitor: Dalai Lama Honored in D.C.

Lantos Foundation Announcement Press Release