For the 10th time, the Dalai Lama is in the top 10 of Americans’ “Most Admired Man” list.
The Tibetan leader, who has attracted countless followers around the globe with his message of compassion and nonviolence, places ninth in the Most Admired Man list for 2019, based on a Dec. 2-15 Gallup poll of more than 1,000 US adults.
Most admired men and women
The poll asked respondents which man living anywhere in the world today they admire most. President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama tied for first place.
On the “Most Admired Woman” list, former First Lady Michelle Obama came in at no. 1, followed by current First Lady Melania Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—a dedicated supporter of the Tibetan cause who was one of the main speakers at the International Campaign for Tibet’s (ICT’s) “Why Tibet Matters” event in November—also made the list at no. 7.
Dalai Lama’s enduring popularity
The Dalai Lama’s ranking in the top 10 stands out, and not just because it’s his 10th time there.
Other than Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama is the only non-US citizen on the list. He’s also the only person of Asian descent.
2019 marked the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama having to flee into exile from his native Tibet to escape the Chinese troops who planned to abduct or kill him.
Since then, China has continued to brutally occupy Tibet, violating Tibetans’ human rights and restricting their religious freedom to the point that Tibetans can now be thrown in jail for simply owning a photo of the Dalai Lama.
Despite China’s hysterical attempts to vilify him, the Dalai Lama has earned lasting popularity around the world thanks to his appealing personality and commitment to religious harmony and world peace, as well as his devotion to protecting Tibet’s culture and environment.
Support in Washington
In 1989, the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize—an anniversary that ICT celebrated with US lawmakers and officials last month.
In 2007, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the US’ highest civilian honor.
Late last year, a resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives praising the Dalai Lama for his efforts to promote global peace, harmony and understanding and celebrating the deep bond between the American and Tibetan peoples.
And on Dec. 18, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Tibetan Policy and Support Act, which will upgrade US support for Tibetans and sanction Chinese officials who attempt to appoint the Dalai Lama’s eventual successor.
The next step is for the bill to get a vote on the House floor. It will then have to pass the Senate and be signed into law by the president.