President Barack Obama has invited the Dalai Lama to visit the White House today (July 16, 2011), making time for the Tibetan spiritual leader who is in Washington, D.C. for an 11-day Buddhist ritual, according to the Huffington Post website.
The president last met with the Nobel Peace laureate in February 2010, infuriating Chinese officials. China accuses the Dalai Lama of pushing for Tibet to become an independent nation.
Employing a low-key approach -- so as not to upset China too much -- the meeting will be held in the White House Map Room, not the Oval Office, which is reserved for visiting heads of state. Moreover, the White House is keeping the meeting closed to the news media, as it did last year.
A White House official said Obama will urge the representatives of the Dalai Lama to be allowed to engage with Chinese authorities, and will call for the preservation of Tibetan culture.