Dalai Lama, Uyghur Dissident Rebiya Kadeer Meet in Front of Thousands


2005-11-15
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The Dalai Lama and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before an audience of 16,000 at the MCI Center in Washington, DC. Photo: RFA >> Watch the video The Dalai Lama welcomes the audience. Rebiya Kadeer greets the Dalai Lama.

WASHINGTON—Tibet’s exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, made a first public appearance with recently exiled Uyghur dissident Rebiya Kadeer, greeting her on stage in front of some 16,000 people at the U.S capital’s MCI Center.

“In order to have genuine faith, you need to have one truth, one religion. But that does not mean you lose respect for those of other traditions,” the Dalai Lama said, speaking in English as well as his native Tibetan. He also called on world leaders to make the 21st century “the century of dialogue.”

The 70-year-old Nobel peace laureate was joined briefly on stage by Rebiya Kadeer, a dissident belonging to the Muslim Uyghur minority that accounts for most of the population of China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Kadeer received an eight-year sentence in 2000 for “endangering national security” but was paroled and exiled to the United States on March 17, 2005.

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