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October 17 marks another Historic Day for Tibetans
Phayul[Tuesday, October 16, 2007 19:41]
Several live broadcasts of the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony are expected to be available for public viewing as Tibetans around the world wait eagerly to see their leader presented with the Medal by the President George W. Bush.

By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, October 16: October 17 marks another milestone in the history of Tibetan freedom struggle as His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be awarded with the US’s Highest Civilian Honour. It is simply a historic day for Tibetans. Past experience shows such a day repeats but rarely for Tibetans who have long been seeking justice, freedom and peace in their home country through peaceful non-violent approach against decades of brutal oppression by alien Chinese Communist forces.

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be bestowed with the US Congressional Gold Medal this Wednesday, Tibetans around the world are gearing up for an unprecedented mass celebrations and are eagerly waiting to watch the ceremony honouring their leader live on screen.

In McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and hometown of the Dalai Lama, day-long celebration events, including cultural shows and other entertainments organized by nine major non-governmental organizations will mark October 17. A live telecast of the award ceremony broadcasted by Voice of America Tibetan TV will be shown on a large screen at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts from 10:00 pm onwards.

Radio Free Asia is also scheduled to broadcast the recorded version of the ceremony in full at a subsequent broadcast time.

The award, which will be presented in the capitol Rotunda is the most significant tribute to the Dalai Lama since he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his consistent peaceful no-violent approach to resolve the issue of Tibet .

For Tibetans, who revere His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their most supreme and undisputed spiritual and political leader, recognition to His Holiness is parallel to strengthening the cause of Tibet.

On Thursday, October 18 an elaborate official function by the Central Tibetan Administration will be held with Tibetan cultural songs and dances at the TsuglagKhang courtyard.

As the President of the United States is due to present His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, thousands of Tibetans and their supporters are expected to be in Washington, D.C to celebrate the historic occasion, while Tibetans elsewhere prepare for local celebrations at respective settlements and places.

The event will be the first ever public meeting between the Tibetan leader and a sitting US President.

Following the award ceremony, the Dalai Lama will give a public address from the West Lawn of the Capitol.

Several live broadcasts of the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony are expected to be available for public viewing.

The International Campaign for Tibet will webcast the day's events, starting at 11am. Click here for more details.

Voice of America (VOA) will have a televised Tibetan language broadcast, airing live at 12:45pm EST (10:15pm New Delhi standard time, 12:45am Lhasa standard time). For frequency and additional broadcasting information, visit VOA's website.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honour awarded to civilians by the US Congress and past recipients include George Washington, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Winston Churchill.

For the past few weeks, as usual, we saw how China directed its state-run press to publish a series of articles to lash out over the US Congressional Gold Medal awarded to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and to condemn the Dalai Lama for his pro-Tibet activities.

China desperately struggled but in vain whole last week to avoid Dalai Lama’s scheduled meeting with the President George W. Bush at the White House Tuesday.

President Bush was today due to hold talks at the White House with the exiled leader of Tibet. Today’s talk will be the third private encounter between the US President and the Tibetan leader since Mr Bush took office in January 2001.

Tomorrow, Mr Bush is due to attend the public ceremony to award the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize laureate the Congressional Gold Medal.

Latest report by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy says Chinese authorities have already heightened the security measures and intensified vigilance control in Tibet prior to the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony for the Dalai Lama.
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