Former First Lady Laura Bush Says Dalai Lama’s Example is an Inspiration

President George Bush and the Dalai Lama meeting on November 9, 2005. White House photo by Paul Morse

Former First Lady, Laura Bush, has said the Dalai Lama is “a dear and gentle man whose example is an inspiration.”  Her reference to the Dalai Lama is contained in her new memoir, “Spoken from the Heart” that was released this month here in the United States.

She says the Dalai Lama “embodies the hopes for freedom in Tibet” and “is a man who has been denied his rights and his homeland since he was a boy.” Calling President George Bush as “George”, Mrs. Bush says, “George believes that acknowledging the Dalai Lama is a special American responsibility.  The world looks to the United States for leadership, and if we do not stand up for freedom, who will.”

Following is the full text of Mrs. Bush reference to the Dalai Lama in her book. The meeting mentioned below took place in 2005.  President Bush also subsequently met the Dalai Lama in October 2007.

“On November 9, the Dalai Lama visited George and me for the second time at the White House.  The Dalai Lama is a dear and gentle man whose example is an inspiration, he eloquently embodies the hopes for freedom in Tibet.  Once, at the White House, he tickled a ramrod-straight, stoic Marine guard under his chin, saying, “Smile.” The Marine did. But underneath his soft nature is a man who has been denied his rights and his homeland since he was a boy.  He told us that he genuinely feared for Tibet, feared that its culture would be erased from memory as China settled vast numbers of its citizens inside Tibet’s mountainous, landlocked region.  George believes that acknowledging the Dalai Lama is a special American responsibility.  The world looks to the United States for leadership, and if we do not stand up for freedom, who will.”

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