After Tibet experienced the invasion, the Dalai Lama did not have many options outside of working with the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet in 1951. This would be a joint effort between the People’s Republic of China and Gyatso. It was also at this time that his brothers relocated to Kalimpong in India, where with the assistance of American and Indian governments, was able to organized pro-independence publications. Weapons were also smuggled into Tibet. In 1956, armed eruptions broke out in Amdo and Kham, which later made way into Central Tibet.
Unfortunately, the movement was a failure and participants were forced to move back to Nepal, as well as head for underground safety. Furthermore, during the 1970s, the United States was placed into a position not to help because the People’s Republic of China and the U.S. were working on their relations with one another. This is when the Dalai Lama began to construct a policy that would create a peaceful resolution, where he would become reinstated within a Tibet that followed a democratic autonomy.
When it came to social issues, the Dalai Lama sided with the founding of the Dalai Lama Foundation, which aimed to encourage peace and ethics across the globe. Among many of his beliefs, he is said to favor modern scientific findings rather than side with ancient religion. In regards to the hot topic of homosexuality, he has repeatedly stated his belief that gays and lesbians should be accepted by society. Despite this proclamation, he draws the line when it comes to Buddhist homosexual behavior , calling it sexual misconduct.
Another important topic regarding the Dalai Lama’s stance on social issues includes the subject of abortion, where he does not indefinitely condemn the act. In an excerpt taken from the New York Times, he is quoted as saying in a November 28th, 1993 article:
” Of course, abortion, from a Buddhist viewpoint, is an act of killing and is negative, generally speaking. But it depends on the circumstances. If the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent, these are cases where there can be an exception. I think abortion should be approved or disapproved according to each circumstance.”
The Dalai Lama has also made statements that speak to his concern for the future of the environment, his theories regarding modern economics, and issues of Marxism.
Awards and Honors
Over the years, the Dalai Lama has received a variety of awards that have spanned both his spiritual and political career. For example, he became one of only three people to ever gain recognition through the Honorary Citizenship by the Canadian House of Commons in 2006. In 2005, he received the Christmas Humphreys Award from the Buddhist Society in the United Kingdom.
Additional awards the Dalai Lama has been given includes the Congressional Gold Medal (2006); Jaime Brunet Prize for Human Rights (2003); Hilton Humanitarian Award (2003); International League for Human Rights Award (2003); Life Achievement Award from Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization (1999); Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (1994); World Security Annual Peace Award (1994); and Raoul Wallenberg Human Rights Award (1989).