DHARAMSALA, 28: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been awarded 2015 Liberty Medal by the Philadelphia-based National Constitution Center in recognition of his efforts in promoting freedom, dialogue and tolerance.
His Holiness’ principle translator Thupten Jinpa and Dr Richie Davidson of the Mind and Life Institute accepted the award on his behalf. The Tibetan leader, who turned 80 this year, cancelled his visit to the US last month after doctors at Mayo Clinic advised him to take rest for some time.
His Holiness was presented the prestigious award during the 27th annual Liberty Medal award ceremony held on Oct 26 at the National Constitution Center on Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia.
Long time Tibet supporter and Hollywood actor Richard Gere was among several notable personalities who attended the award ceremony.
Speaking to hundreds of people gathered at the centre, Gere said, “People keep asking me; what is it about the Dalai Lama?” and added, “It’s that he’s genuine, at all times.”
In a video statement for the occasion His Holiness thanked the Constitution Center for recognizing his ‘little service to humanity’ and expressed his commitment until death to human values of freedom and liberty.
Announcing the recipient of 2015 Liberty Medal in June, National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen said: “We are so pleased to announce His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the recipient of the 2015 Liberty Medal.”
“In his advocacy for Tibetans and for human rights worldwide, the Dalai Lama has always emphasized the ideals of freedom, dialogue, and tolerance. For this reason he embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal, which aims to honor men and women who strive to secure such blessings of liberty to people around the globe.”
The medal comes with a cash prize of $100,000 which His Holiness donated to the Mind and Life Institute, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization co-founded in 1987 by the Tibetan leader to explore human mind through science in order to alleviate suffering and promote well-being on the planet.
Established in 1988, the Liberty Medal is given annually to honor men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.
MalalaYousafzai, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, and US President Jimmy Carter are among several Nobel Peace Prize winners who have received the Liberty Medal in the past.