praises Dalai Lama`s `courage`
July 15: US President George W Bush on Tuesday paid tribute
to "the courage of the Dalai Lama and the Buddhists in
Tibet," less than one month before heading to China for
the Beijing Olympics opening gala.
also reported that he told Chinese President Hu Jintao when
they met last week in Japan: "So long as there are those
who want to fight for their liberty, the United States stands
US President, who has drawn fire for his decision to attend
the August 8 opening ceremony for the games, was speaking
at a White House ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of
a US law aimed at promoting global religious freedom.
remember those seeking religious freedom in China, and we
honor those who press for their liberties, people like the
Uighur Muslims," said Bush.
also had the honor of meeting those who attend underground
churches in China. And we also honor the courage of the Dalai
Lama and the Buddhists in Tibet," he said.
cited "some hopeful progress during the last couple of
years" in places like Turkmenistan and Vietnam but underlined
that it was important to "remember the many people who
have yet to secure this precious liberty."
cited Iran, "where the regime's anti-Semitism has provoked
global outrage," Eritrea, Sudanese attacks on Christians,
and North Korean punishment of "those caught practicing
faiths other than the state ideology."
also cited "brutal raids" by Myanmar authorities
on Buddhist monks, past repression of religious minorities
in Uzbekistan, and expressed hope that promised Saudi reforms
"can bring real change."
we urge the leaders of all these countries to immediately
end their abuses of religious freedom. We urge these leaders
to respect the rights of those who seek only to worship their
god as they see fit," said Bush.