The Dalai Lama
A Buddhist advocate for peace and freedom
From his exile in India, the religious and political leader the Dalai Lama has since 1959 stood at the head of the nonviolent opposition to China's occupation of Tibet.
When the Nobel Committee chose the Dalai Lama, it emphasized that he based his Buddhist peace philosophy on reverence for all living things and the idea of a universal responsibility that embraces both man and nature. It weighed heavily in the Tibetan leader's favor that he had showed willingness to compromise and seek reconciliation despite brutal violations.
The award of the Peace Prize gave the Dalai Lama the opportunity to present a plan for the restoration of peace and human rights in Tibet. In the plan he recommended that the country be turned into an ecologically stable and demilitarized zone that might serve as a buffer between major Asian powers. The object was to set in motion serious negotiations on the future status of Tibet, but this was rejected by the Chinese government.