གཟའ་ཉི་མ། ༢༠༢༤/༠༤/༢༡

Dalai Lama Arrives in US for Two-Week Visit བོད་སྐད།

The Dalai Lama has arrived in the United States for a two-week visit - the first since his homeland erupted in turmoil.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader arrived Thursday in Seattle, in the northwest state of Washington, where he is scheduled to participate in a five-day conference on spirituality which opens Friday.

Speaking Thursday in Japan, the Dalai Lama said he supports the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, despite China's ongoing crackdown on anti-government protesters in Tibet.

The Olympic torch for the Beijing Games made its only North American stop Wednesday in San Francisco under tight security.

China's foreign ministry commented Thursday on the Dalai Lama's trip, repeating its claim that the Tibetan exile seeks to divide China under the guise of religion.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu also strongly rejected a resolution passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives. She said the resolution sponsored by House speaker Nancy Pelosi distorts the history and reality of Tibet.

Two resolutions passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate condemned violence in Tibet and called on China to open talks with the Dalai Lama.

President Bush and other world leaders also have urged Beijing to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.

Mr. Bush has come under pressure from the three top U.S. presidential candidates to skip the Olympics opening ceremony to protest Beijing's crackdown in Tibet, but his plan to attend the Olympics remains unchanged.

The European Parliament Thursday passed a resolution urging the bloc's 27 members to consider boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics if China does not resume talks with the Tibetan spiritual leader.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Poland's President Lech Kaczynski have said they will not attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing games.

The Dalai Lama is also scheduled to visit the Michigan and New York while in the United States.