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Dalai Lama Meets with US Lawmakers - 2003-09-10

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on his third leg of a U.S. tour, gave the keynote address at the 20th Anniversary of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in Washington Tuesday.

The Dalai Lama said that violation of human rights hinders the transformation of human society. "I think one unique thing about human being is the intelligence. This [intelligence] gives us the ability to have visions," he said.

The exiled Tibetan leader stressed that in any society, those individuals who have visions take serious concern about the rights of the others.

The Nobel Peace laureate called on the U.S. lawmakers to continue help stop human rights violations wherever they occur.

U.S. Representative Tom Lantos, a Democrat, and co-founder of the Human Rights Caucus called the spiritual leader the "embodiment of human rights on this planet." And Caucus co-chairman Frank Wolf praised him as the "epitome of strength and courage." While on Capitol Hill, the Dalai Lama also paid visits to leading members of both parties, including the Senate Republican majority leader, Bill Frist.

Late Tuesday he met with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and is expected to meet President Bush Wednesday to brief him on the ongoing talks between his representatives and the Chinese officials after almost a decade of impasse.

At the invitation of the Washington National Cathedral, the Dalai Lama will attend an interfaith ceremony on the second anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Earlier, the Dalai Lama visited San Francisco where he received an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco and dedicated a house of worship for inter-religious harmony and world peace in the mid-Western city of Bloomington, Indiana.

Before returning to his exiled home in India late this month the Dalai Lama is also scheduled to visit Boston and New York.