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Dalai Lama to be awarded highest US civilian honour

Source: PTI
May 27, 2006 19:20 IST
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The US Senate has passed a resolution to award the Congressional Gold Medal -- the country's highest civilian honour -- to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, in recognition of his "enduring and outstanding contributions to peace, non violence and human rights".

The Senate passed the resolution prior to adjourning for a week-long recess. A similar legislation has been enacted by the House of Representatives.

The Senate legislation, introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, had the backing of 75 Democrats and Republicans as co-sponsors.

"The Dalai Lama has struggled for half a century to better the lives of the Tibetan people -- armed only with his compassion, courage and conviction. In doing so, he has been a shining light to all those fighting for freedom around the world," Senator Feinstein remarked as the Senate Banking Committee recently approved the Gold Medal Act.

"I cannot say how much it means to me that three quarters of the Senate have put the daily battles aside to come together to say that this man deserves our nation's highest civilian honour -- the Congressional Gold Medal," he added.

Past recipients of the Gold Medal include Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and Nobel Peace Laureates Elie Wiesel and Nelson Mandela.

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