DHARAMSHALA, October 26: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representatives yesterday received the Liberty Medal at an event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in recognition of the his efforts to promote compassion and human rights around the world.
Hollywood actor Richard Gere and the Tibetan leader’s principal translator Thupten Jinpa jointly received the award on the behalf of the Tibetan leader who cancelled his scheduled trip to the United States after Doctors at Mayo Clinic advised him to rest for “the next several weeks”.
Richard Gere called the Dalai Lama "one of the great ones" who "wants nothing more than our happiness, which is ultimately us understanding the nature of things and how deeply interconnected we all are."
The announcement to award Liberty Medal to the 1989 Nobel peace laureate was made in June.
The Dalai Lama, in a video statement, expressed his regret at not being able to attend and called himself a "simple Buddhist monk, no more, no less."
"Mainly, I (am) fully committed until my death (to) promotion of human value ... Including freedom, liberty," he said.
The Tibetan leader assured his followers that he was in excellent health.
Previous winners of the Liberty Medal include Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and rock singer and humanitarian Bono.