Getting It Straight on the Dalai Lama

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Oct. 5 front-page article "Obama's Meeting With the Dalai Lama Is Delayed" captured some of the complexity of this issue but failed to state clearly that we were involved in the decision for President Obama to meet His Holiness after the U.S.-China summit and not during his visit to Washington this week. We came to this arrangement because we believe that it is in our long-term interests.

The article failed to take into account the implications of an important statement by the office of the Dalai Lama after a visit by the president's senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett. The statement gives details of the discussion, including His Holiness's views on the priorities for the Obama administration on Tibet and the importance of a cooperative U.S.-China relationship.

My meeting with Ms. Jarrett was to discuss the logistics and agenda of her visit to India to meet His Holiness. We saw the visit of Ms. Jarrett and Maria Otero, undersecretary for democracy and global affairs and special coordinator for Tibetan issues, to Dharamsala as evidence of a new approach on Tibet as well as a reflection of Mr. Obama's great esteem for His Holiness.



The writer is special envoy to the United States for the Dalai Lama.

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