BEVERLY HILLS, California — Just days after meeting with US President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama said Saturday that he was not offended by the low-key reception he received and understands that the president must be practical despite his stated commitment to championing human rights worldwide.
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader told The Associated Press that he recognizes Obama must juggle his desire to support the Dalai Lama's push for greater Tibetan autonomy with his concerns about angering China, a growing US economic rival and hoped-for partner.
"No disappointment. The last six decades my heart hardened. I do not consider important political gestures. I don't care. The important is meet face-to-face," said the Dalai Lama, who was sometimes assisted by a translator.
"With President Clinton, the first meeting was a 'drop-in,'" he said. "People asked me the same question (then). I don't care."