Dharamsala, July 6 (IANS) The situation in Tibet and the implications of environmental degradation on the Tibetan plateau were among the issues which figured in the talks between US President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, the central Tibetan Administration said on Wednesday.
“Obama in his meeting with His Holiness at the White House on June 15, discussed the critical political situation of Tibetans inside Tibet and the implications of environmental degradation on the plateau,” said a statement by the Tibetan Cabinet to mark the pontiff’s 81st birthday.
According to the statement, Obama encouraged a meaningful and direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives with Chinese authorities to lower tensions and resolve differences.
“Obama also welcomed His Holiness’ leadership on climate change issue and expressed support for his efforts in raising awareness of the importance of limiting global warming, including to protect the Himalayan glaciers and the environment on the Tibetan plateau.”
Emphasising his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic traditions, the Tibetan Cabinet or the Kashag said the US President lauded the Dalai Lama’s commitment to peace and non-violence.
“We remain firmly committed to the ‘middle-way’ policy and will take concrete measures to ensure that dialogue with China takes place in the near future,” said the cabinet, headquartered in this northern hill town Dharamsala.
Over the last few decades, the pontiff has visited 67 countries, spanning six continents, and authored over 100 books, advocating global peace and harmony.
Meanwhile, morning prayers for the well being and long life of the Dalai Lama were held here on his birthday on Wednesday.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was not present here and attended celebrations in Mundgod in Karnataka.
Large crowds began to assemble on Wednesday morning at the Tsuglagkhang temple, close to the official palace of the Dalai Lama at McLeodganj, to join the celebrations.
Born on July 6, 1935 at Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso.
He fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile here that never won recognition from any country.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for democracy and freedom in his homeland. Since fleeing to India, he has spent his time in exile pushing for autonomy for Tibet.
India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.