President George W. Bush received Dalai Lama on Tuesday and made its first public appearance next to the Tibetan spiritual leader on Wednesday. Dalai Lama received the Congressional Gold Medal today, Voice of America reports.

The station broadcast the award ceremony and the Dalai Lama's acceptance speech live to Tibet via radio, television and the Internet.

In an interview with VOA yesterday, the Dalai Lama expressed support for the Burmese democracy movement, saying that he admired the recent efforts of Buddhist monks and adding that their cause was just. He urged Buddhist members of Burma's military government to remember the Buddhist teachings of "compassion" and "love" as they confront these situations, VOA informs.

The Gold Medal is the highest US award that can be offered to a public figure, previous honored personalities including Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa.

The Chinese government issued a protest against the ceremony, threatening to change the relationship with the US, "in case Washington honors an exiled and dangerous separatist".