Tibetans Celebrate Obama Dalai Lama Meeting 2010-02-19 11:58 Tibetans often mark the start of the new lunar year with a fireworks display. This year, near Tongren, a predominantly Tibetan area of Qinghai, Tibetans were also using fireworks to mark their spiritual leaders first meeting with US President Barack Obama. Young Tibetan monks gathered on a hillside at midnight on Thursday. President Obama and the Dalai Lama met in Washington, despite repeated warnings from Chinese authorities that it will harm already strained relations between the two countries. A day earlier in Qinghai, Tibetans in local temples carried out religious ceremonies, leaving offerings to their exiled spiritual leader. Chinese authorities have prohibited temples from openly displaying pictures of the Dalai Lama, but many in Qinghai do so anyway. A monk in a local monastery says Tibetans are happy about the meeting. He asked to remain anonymous to avoid punishment by Chinese authorities. [Tibetan Monk, Tongren, Qinghai Province]: "The Dalai Lama meeting Obama this year makes us very happy. We really hope that Obama can support us Tibetans" Some Tibetans learned about the meeting through overseas Tibetan-language radio and television broadcasts. [Tibetan Monk, Tongren, Qinghai Province]: "Without the Dalai Lama here, we suffer so much. Without the Dalai Lama, the Chinese threaten us. They threaten our freedom of religion and belief. Even trying to escape to India is dangerous, so all we can do is hope <b>...</b>
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