Assembled Tibetans and Tibet supporters gather in the Kennedy Caucus Room.

Assembled Tibetans and Tibet supporters gather in the Kennedy Caucus Room.

The US Senate is hosting an exhibition this week comprised of 15 photographs illustrating the decades-long relationship between the 14th Dalai Lama and the United States, from a letter to the young Dalai Lama written by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942 to a picture of the Dalai Lama speaking with current President Barack Obama.

ICT President Matteo Mecacci spoke yesterday at the opening of “America & the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet,” an exhibition installed in the rotunda at the Russell Senate Office Building until July 10. During his remarks, Matteo Mecacci said: “We wish to thank the US Senate for officially hosting this exhibition in the Russell Senate Building Rotunda, which highlights the strong connection between the Dalai Lama and the American institutions and people. This event is even more meaningful because both the US Senate and House are currently discussing Resolutions that honor the Dalai Lama’s accomplishments and call on China to respect Tibetans’ human rights and restart the dialogue process with His Holiness.”

National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman and Katrina Lantos-Swett of the Lantos Foundation and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom also made remarks exploring the Dalai Lama’s role in calling for interfaith dialogue and religious freedom, and his efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Tibet issue. Remarks by Senator Ben Cardin, which were delivered by a member of his staff, called the Dalai Lama a leading figure of moral authority and a man of faith, sincerity, and peace. “We honor the Dalai Lama’s lifelong commitment to religious freedom and his humble, yet relentless efforts to preserve the unique cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage of Tibet,” Senator Cardin concluded.

Tibetan and Mongolian monks and nuns led a traditional Tibetan prayer at the opening of the exhibition, and later members of the local Tibetan community and Tibet supporters placed khatas before a portrait of the Dalai Lama as a gesture of respect.

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