Liberty Medal was presented to representatives of the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama, dalai-lama, Liberty Medal, Richard Gere
Dharmshala : The Liberty Medal was presented to representatives of the Dalai Lama, who was unable to attend due to health reasons.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and actor Richard Gere took part in a tribute to the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader during the 2015 Liberty Medal Ceremony at the National Constitution Center Monday afternoon.

Richard Gere spoke about the Dalai Lama’s achievements, calling him “one of the great ones” who “wants nothing more than our happiness.” He then introduced a video tribute.

Mayor Michael Nutter also participated in the ceremony. 

The Dalai Lama said in a video statement that he regretted not being able to attend and was committed until his death to promoting human value, including liberty.

He was set to receive the medal in person during Monday’s ceremony in Philadelphia. He announced in September however he was canceling his visit to the United States. The 80-year-old Dalai Lama was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, last month for what was described as a check-up.

“We deeply regret cancellation of the visit and apologize to everyone who have worked so hard in organizing the visit as well as to the public who have been looking forward to the visit,” a representative said. “We thank everyone for their support and understanding and would like to consider rescheduling the visit in the future.”

The Dalai Lama received the 2015 Liberty Medal for his work promoting human rights worldwide, the National Constitute Center said.

“We are so pleased to announce His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the recipient of the 2015 Liberty Medal,” said National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen while announcing the Lama’s honor. “In his advocacy for Tibetans and for human rights worldwide, the Dalai Lama has always emphasized the ideals of freedom, dialogue and tolerance.

The Liberty Medal, given annually, was founded in 1988 to honor people who show “courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”

The Dalai Lama, who received the Nobel Prize in 1989, has lived in exile in India since a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

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