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Dalai Lama Meets With U.S. Political Leaders

September 13, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — The Dalai Lama said he sensed "genuine interest and sympathy" at meetings this week with President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell as he continues his campaign to create an autonomous Tibet.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader's multi-city tour has been criticized as meddling by the People's Republic of China, which has long occupied his native land. "My main concern is the preservation of Tibetan culture ... because I believe the Tibetan Buddhist culture, spirituality, is something useful and something really worthwhile to preserve," the Dalai Lama told reporters as he departed the White House on Wednesday. He visited Powell at the State Department the previous day.

The exiled leader fled Tibet in 1959 after a Communist Chinese invasion and heads a government in exile based in India.

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