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Tibetans hail Dalai Lama-Obama meet


Dharamsala: Tibetan exiles are upbeat that US President ignored Chinese warnings and met their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama — for a second time since February 2010.

“The meeting was an outcome of the initiatives taken by the White House as His Holiness was on an 11-day Buddhist ritual in the US,” Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile, told IANS.

A senior functionary in the Dalai Lama’s office here the spiritual leader conveyed to Obama his concerns over “atrocities” by the Chinese against the Tibetan people.

“The Dalai Lama and the cause of Tibet have a special place in the heart of Americans,” Samphel said.

After the Dalai Lama met Obama Saturday, the White House said the US “encourages direct dialogue to resolve long-standing differences and that a dialogue that produces positive results for China and Tibetans”.

According to a Tibetan official, Obama showed concern about basic human values, human rights and freedom in Tibet.

“Naturally, he showed genuine concern about suffering in Tibet and also other places. It was wonderful.”

Since 1991, he said, all US presidents have extended a special welcome to the 76-year-old Buddhist monk.

The Dalai Lama, who fled his homeland in 1959, lives in India.