Following the loss of the space shuttle Columbia on February 1 the Dalai Lama sent a message of condolence to U.S. President George Bush describing the tragedy as “a great loss…to the United States and the world.”

The text of the February 2 message follows below:

His Excellency Mr. George W. Bush
The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Your Excellency,

I want to express my deep condolences and sense of sadness at the tragic accident involving the space shuttle Columbia resuting in the loss of the lives of its seven astronauts. This is not only a great loss to the family members of the seven astronauts but also to the United States and the world. At this time of national tragedy, my prayers are with the people of the United States and particularly with the bereaved family members of the astronauts.

With prayers and good wishes,

Yours Sincerely,
The Dalai Lama