The inclusion of Mr. Gyari in the luncheon is part of President Bush’s continued efforts to support a negotiated solution to Tibet. Mr. Lodi Gyari is the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for talks with the Chinese government. Mr. Gyari’s team is expected to return to China for the eighth round of dialog sometime in the latter part of October.
The President also hosted Mr. Gyari in May 2008 at the White House to mark Asia-Pacific Heritage month in the United States when he stressed the need for continued and substantive dialog between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government to address in a real way the deep and legitimate concerns of the Tibetan people.
Invitees to the luncheon hosted by President Bush, which is taking place on the sidelines of events to mark the 63rd United Nations General Assembly, include democracy activists from around the world, representing movements in countries as diverse as Tibet and Sierra Leone, and North Korea and Burma. Vytautas Landsbergis, the Lithuanian democracy activist and a member of ICT’s International Council of Advisers, is also among the invitees.