Peace envoy:

Whenever the Dalai Lama is honoured, China’s Communist leaders lash out. It happened when the Tibetan spiritual leader, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was received by German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month, and it happened again when the Dalai Lama met with President Bush and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington.

The Dalai Lama said on Tuesday that he felt “regret” over the tensions. It is our hope that leaders will continue to ignore China’s protests and threats, and that by continuing to honour the Dalai Lama they will finally persuade Beijing to open serious talks about granting autonomy to Tibet. In Beijing-speak, the Dalai Lama is a “splittist,” someone out to split off a chunk of China. The fact is that the Dalai Lama does love his motherland — Tibet — and is not trying to split it away from China. What he wants, he says, is “meaningful autonomy for Tibet.”

We would like to think that the spiritual leader’s dedication to non-violence and tolerance might also rub off on some of the people he meets in Washington. “Through violence, you may solve one problem, but you sow the seeds for another,” is one of his statements that politicians meditate upon. Or this: “The world has become so small that no nation can solve its problems alone, in isolation from others.” — The New York Times