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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Top US lawmaker hails Dalai Lama on birthday

July 12, 2010

July 7, 2010

WASHINGTON -- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
hailed the Dalai Lama on his 75th birthday
Tuesday as "a man of peace and wisdom" and urged
China to hold serious talks with him on his homeland of Tibet.

"His Holiness has expressed a willingness to
visit China and engage directly with high level
officials. It is my sincere hope that Beijing
will send a confident message by inviting His
Holiness to China for substantive discussions," she said in a statement.

The Democratic lawmaker, a frequent critic of
China's human rights record, said the exiled
spiritual leader "has made the human rights
situation in Tibet an issue of international
concern, and it is long past time to resolve it."

"A negotiated agreement would ensure internal
stability in Tibet and bolster China?s reputation in the world," said Pelosi.

"On the 75th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama, I offer my continued appreciation of his
life's work promoting compassion, peace, and
human rights for all of the people of the world," she said.

China views the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, as a dangerous separatist.

The Dalai Lama favors meaningful autonomy for
Tibet under Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him
of inciting unrest with a hidden pro-independence
agenda. Decades of on-off negotiations with China
have made no tangible progress.

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