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Dalai Lama visits Londonderry & Cambridge PDF Print E-mail
[22 April 2013] The Dalai Lama visited the UK in mid-April as part of a whirlwind 10-day European tour. During his two days in the UK (18-19 April), he visited Londonderry and Cambridge. He was also interviewed by Channel 4 News.

The Dalai Lama in LondonderryThe Dalai Lama's only public engagement during his UK trip was in Londonderry where he spoke to 2,500 people on the value of compassion at an event organised by Children in Crossfire (pictured right). Whilst in Londonderry he also met with Protestant and Catholic leaders and said, "There is no other alternative to the peace process, there is no other choice, you have to work and live together so we should not act like animals.."

Dalai Lama in CambridgeIn Cambridge, the Dalai Lama spoke on the topic of non-violent conflict resolution to the Global Scholars Symposium (pictured left), an organisation that brings together students from around the world to find solutions to the planet's most challenging problems.

During a press conference in Cambridge, the Dalai Lama talked about the importance of religious harmony and the need for education about moral ethics. He said, "I think there is some hope that within this century humanity, through education, can be more compassionate."

The Dalai Lama gave his only interview whilst in the UK to Channel 4 News. He answered questions on the new Chinese leadership, self-immolations, the future of the Dalai Lama lineage and recent violence by Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka.

On China, the Dalai Lama said, Nowadays the world trend is towards greater openness, democracy and the rule of law; if China wants to participate more fully in the world it will have to follow this trend. The harmonious society that Hu Jintao aspired to create is admirable, but it can only be created on the basis of warm-heartedness, not fear; fear is the opposite of harmony.

With respect to the situation in Tibet, the Dalai Lama there had been positive developments in terms of economic infrastructure, but added that freedom is also important. We are not animals. If you give animals food and shelter they are happy. Tibetans have a rich and ancient Buddhist culture, which is of value, but which is presently under dire threats to its existence.

Further reading:
(Londonderry) BBC I Belfast Telegraph I Irish Times I Daily Record
(Cambridge) CTA I BBC (includes 2 min video report) I Varsity
Channel 4 News interview (4 mins, edited version - note: does not include quotes above)


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