Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act (US Congress)
109th Congress, 2nd Session: Senate Resolution 2784. May 25, 2006
The bill (S. 2784) to award a congressional gold medal to Tenzin Gyatso,
the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in recognition of his many enduring and
outstanding contributions to peace, non-violence, human rights, and
religious understanding, was considered, ordered to be engrossed for a
third reading, read the third time, and passed; as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. Short Title
This Act may cited as the "Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold
Section 2. Findings
Congress finds that Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
1. is recognized in the United States and throughout the world as a
leading figure of moral and religious authority;
2. is the unrivaled spiritual and cultural leader of the Tibetan people,
and has used his leadership to promote democracy, freedom, and peace for
the Tibetan people through a negotiated settlement of the Tibet issue,
based on autonomy within the People's Republic of China;
3. has led the effort to preserve the rich cultural, religious, and
linguistic heritage of the Tibetan people and to promote the
safeguarding of other endangered cultures throughout the world;
4. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his efforts to promote
peace and non-violence throughout the globe, and to find democratic
reconciliation for the Tibetan people through his "Middle Way" approach;
5. has significantly advanced the goal of greater understanding,
tolerance, harmony, and respect among the different religious faiths of
the world through interfaith dialogue and outreach to other religious
6. has used his moral authority to promote the concept of universal
responsibility as a guiding tenet for how human beings should treat one
another and the planet we share.
Section 3. Congressional Gold Medal
A. Presentation Authorized. The Speaker of the House of Representatives
and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate
arrangements for the presentation, on behalf of the Congress, of a gold
medal of appropriate design, to Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai
Lama, in recognition of his many enduring contributions to peace and
B. Design and Striking. For purposes of the presentation referred to in
subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (referred to in this Act
as the "Secretary") shall strike a gold medal with suitable emblems,
devices, and inscriptions to be determined by the Secretary.
Section 4. Duplicate Medals
The Secretary may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal
struck pursuant to section 3 under such regulations as the Secretary may
prescribe, at a price sufficient to cover the cost thereof, including
labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses, and the
cost of the gold medal.
Section 5. Status of Medals
A. National Medals. The medals struck pursuant to this Act are national
medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
B. Numismatic Items. For purposes of sections 5134 and 5136 of title 31,
United States Code, all medals struck under this Act shall be considered
to be numismatic items.
Section 6. Authority to Use Fund Amounts; Proceeds of Sale
A. Authority To Use Fund Amounts. There is authorized to be charged
against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such amounts as
may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck pursuant to
B. Proceeds of Sale. Amounts received from the sale of duplicate bronze
medals authorized under section 4 shall be deposited into the United
States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
Pelosi Remarks on Awarding Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Press Release: Nancy Pelosi Office
Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the
House floor tonight in support of legislation to award His Holiness, the
Dalai Lama, the Congressional Gold Medal. Below are her remarks as
"I rise in strong support of the legislation to award the Congressional
Gold Medal to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. I would like to thank
the Members of Congress who helped bring this bill to the House floor
including Tom Lantos, Frank Wolf, Ileana-Ros Lehtinen and Senator Dianne
"The Congressional Gold Medal is the most distinguished award bestowed
by the United States Congress. It is reserved for the most heroic,
courageous, and outstanding individuals who have made lasting
contributions to society - individuals such as Pope John Paul II, Mother
Teresa, Elie Wiesel and Nelson Mandela.
"Today we honor our nation and the American people by awarding the
Congressional Gold Medal to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am proud to
be an original co-sponsor of this legislation.
"His Holiness often describes himself as a 'simple monk, no more, no
less.' But he represents much more to many people around the world.
Tibetan Buddhists believe the Dalai Lama is the earthly manifestation of
the living Buddha. On the world stage, he is seen as the head of state
and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. For thousands, he is a
source of spiritual refuge and a connection to inner peace and harmony.
He has traveled the world, building bridges between and among the
different faiths. He has used his position to promote wisdom,
compassion, and non-violence as a solution - not only in Tibet - but to
other world conflicts.
"The Dalai Lama has made the human rights situation in Tibet an issue of
international concern. Indeed, the situation in Tibet is a challenge to
the conscience of the world. Under Chinese occupation, hundreds of
thousands of Tibetans have died. Freedom to practice their religion and
political expression are severely curtailed. Despite the harsh
repression, Tibetans are as devoted to their beliefs as ever and the
bond between the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people is unbreakable.
"As a new Member of Congress in 1987, I was in attendance when the Dalai
Lama proposed the historic Five-Point Peace Plan toward resolving the
future status of Tibet. The Dalai Lama proposed a 'Middle Way Approach'
that seeks genuine autonomy for Tibetans within the framework of the
People's Republic of China.
"In recent years, Tibetan envoys have traveled to China for five rounds
of discussions on the status of Tibet. While open dialogue is a first
step, it is clear that the Chinese government is stalling. They are
missing an historic opportunity to negotiate with a partner who has the
authority and the legitimacy to implement a comprehensive agreement. A
negotiated settlement would ensure internal stability in Tibet and
bolster China's reputation in the world.
"The Dalai Lama has asked for international support for his non-violent
efforts to engage the Chinese government. I am proud to say the U.S.
Congress has been a bedrock of support for the Tibetan cause. Together
we have taken action to improve the lives of Tibetans both inside and
outside of Tibet.
"By awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama, Congress is
sending an important signal of support for the ongoing discussions. The
United States must continue to be committed to meeting the challenge
that Tibet makes to our conscience. It is my hope that our efforts can
help the Dalai Lama free the Tibetan people."
Dalai Lama meets with students from China, Taiwan
By JAY TOKASZ
News Staff Reporter
9/20/2006 Since fleeing his native Tibet in 1959 under threat of capture
by the Chinese military, the aging Dalai Lama has at best maintained a
chilly relationship with the world's most populated nation.
His visit this week to the University at Buffalo could help defrost some
of the ill feelings.
The Tibetan spiritual and political authority met Tuesday with students
who will be among the next generation of leaders of a rapidly evolving
The meeting with 175 students from mainland China and Taiwan was off
limits to the media. Students in attendance said the Dalai Lama
emphasized that he was no longer trying to seek independence for Tibet
but wanted to improve human rights in his native land.
It has been a confusing time for many Chinese students on campus.
"In China, we are not talking too much about him because he is not a
very important figure," said Fei Ma, a 29-year-old UB graduate student.
But the monk and his homeland have been a cause celebre in the United
States for some time - with China usually getting demonized in the
The Dalai Lama has been unable to return since fleeing to India in 1959,
and Tibetans say more than a million of their people have been killed
under Chinese communist rule that refused to allow Buddhist practice.
More than 100,000 Tibetans now live in exile throughout the world.
Chinese students at UB expressed ambivalence about their nation's
problems with Tibet and the Dalai Lama.
But they made clear that they want Tibet and China to be a unified country.
"Some of his opinions are right. Perhaps he needs more time with
government leaders to solve the problems," said Sun Pin, a graduate
student in civil engineering. "If he thinks that Tibet is part of China
and uses a peaceful solution to solve the problem, then it's OK."
Others said they respected the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate, but weren't
convinced yet that he sought a unified China, despite his public
statements on the matter.
"He says that, but he does something different. He still travels
everywhere and makes people feel like he's the leader of an independent
state. It's not true," said Zheng Kuai, a graduate student in civil
The Dalai Lama addressed his relationship with China in his talk Tuesday
in UB Stadium, saying that he had tried over the years "to cool down the
situation" but had not received adequate assurances from the Chinese
government that exiled Tibetans would be welcomed back.
Still, Chinese students expressed optimism about their home country and
its future with Tibet.
"The Chinese government is so different than before. The whole country
is changing. It's getting more open," Ying Zhang, 25, a graduate student
in civil engineering.
Some students said they deeply respected the Dalai Lama and wished he
would return soon.
"I think he wants to go back to China. I think he can play a very
important role in China. He can bring spiritual needs," Ma said. "From
my heart, I also hope he will come back to China before he dies."
Dalai Lama promotes ??warm-heartedness to 30,000
Spectrum [Thursday, September 21, 2006 02:27]
His Holiness the Dalai Lama accepts an honorary degree of doctorate in
humane letters from the trustees of the State University of New York
before delivering his lecture 'Peace Across Borders through Education'
After being presented with an honorary State University of New York
doctorate in humane letters prior to his speech Tuesday, the 14th Dalai
Lama had one "little suggestion" for UB President John B. Simpson and
all educators - try to incorporate warm-heartedness into education.
His Holiness' dissertation before a crowd of 30,000 people in the UB
Stadium was a historically prestigious event, striking a chord with many
from Western New York and beyond.
The Dalai Lama explained that those who came to see him out of
curiosity, or to see "what is Dalai Lama going to say?" had a better
mindset than those expecting something miraculous or holy.
"The worst thing is to come with blind faith (for) energy or healing
powers. That's nonsense," he said during his speech.
His Holiness also discussed the idea that because humans have such
strong sensorial experiences, memory and imagination over other forms of
life, it causes the negativity we encounter.
"Because of memory, because of visions, we have much more complicated
hopes and doubts and fears," he said. "That really creates lots of
anxiety, stress, fear, depression and in the worst case, suicide."
He also addressed the issue of the widening gap between the rich and the
poor, the idea that although many people in the United States and the
world over have great material success, there are many who are deprived
of basic necessities. According to the Dalai Lama, this is a major
problem that should be addressed by all.
In fact, His Holiness said that material goods that affect physical
comfort are "extremely important," but are far from being what's most
important. To promote true happiness, people should live life with
"Physical comfort cannot subdue our mental unhappiness,
contented mind can even endure physical discomfort such as pain."
When a question submitted by a UB student asked the Dalai Lama how well
he thought the United States brought about peace throughout the world, a
long pause followed what was "a difficult question."
"I think it's not good to make a generalization,
According to the Dalai Lama, the actions of the U.S. are generally
helping to create a better world, but such difficult issues should be
taken on a case-by-case basis.
He "admired the U.S." as a "champion of democracy, freedom (and)
liberty, but was wary of America siding towards aggression because of
political reasons or ignorance, in the particular case of the civil war
"Some mistakes here and there - carefully study these things," he said.
"Just a small suggestion. May be wrong."
The word most commonly used by His Holiness was "warm-heartedness,
which he believes has an important role in all human and world affairs,
as it creates inner strength and, in turn, political will.
"This century should be a century of dialogue, not of violence."
Gabriel Miller, a junior business major, enjoyed the message of the
I found it very enlightening. He's got a lot of wise things to say, and
he's funny," he said.
Many UB students, as well as non-students in attendance, agreed that the
strong winds and large stadium made it somewhat difficult to hear, but
disagreed on how it affected their experience.
Senior history major Brad Namaste felt that there should have been
additional speakers placed in the stadium stands for the event.
"I was upset. I sat near the top and didn't hear anything. I got nothing
out of it," he said.
However, junior biomedical sciences major Andrea Sturniolo felt that
because she had to listen more carefully, it "kind of made you
"It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He was very
relatable," she said.
Michael Witter, a resident of Oakfield, N.Y., hopes to read the lecture
to get another chance to absorb the Dalai Lama's message.
"The audio wasn't that good, I'm hoping that they make a transcription
of everything and make that available," he said. "But there's a certain
presence that he emanates, all it takes is to see him smile.
According to President John B. Simpson, a major factor in the Dalai
Lama's decision to come to UB was the school's large international
student population and its relationship with universities worldwide.
The Dalai Lama, according to Stephen Dunnett, professor and vice provost
for international education, very much enjoyed his visit to UB.
"He told me, 'I've been to hundreds and hundreds of universities and
I've never been to one as organized as yours.'" Dunnett said. "He also
said he'd never been to an interfaith service as moving. I could've died
happy right there."
Tuesday started off with a discussion between the Dalai Lama and about
175 Chinese UB students, whom the Dalai Lama assured he was not
anti-Chinese, Dunnett said.
Despite the meeting, several dozen protestors lined up outside the south
entrance to the stadium, carrying signs that advocated Chinese unity.
Xiabo Luo, a senior civil engineering major, was one such protestor.
"We're here to let people know what the Dalai Lama said is wrong," he
said. "Tibet was always a part of China. He is a liar."
Witter said that he is not a Buddhist, and he enjoyed the Dalai Lama's
"I think it's absolutely wonderful that the university spent so much
time, money, effort... to bring all these wonderful folks together,"
Witter said. "I hope it has a lasting effect on the university and
everyone here today."
His Holiness called his honorary degree terrific.
"I've been to many universities, (and received degrees) without a single
day of study of modern education. So that is something interesting,
Amanda Sebring, junior legal studies major, said that she "liked the
modesty" that pervaded the Dalai Lama's address, and modesty is just how
"If you thought what I said was meaningless and nonsense," said the
Dalai Lama at the close of his speech, "then forget it. No problem."