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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama says religion can bring hope if faiths work together

October 12, 2007

Associated Press Writer
4:20 PM EDT, October 10, 2007
Religion carries the hope of peace in the world, but it is up to
individuals of different faiths working together to make that hope
reality, the Dalai Lama said Wednesday during a special interfaith
service for local congregations.

"We need a constant effort to promote genuine harmony in all these
different traditions," Tibet's exiled leader told an audience of more
than 1,600 people at the State Theater, a preserved 79-year-old arts
hall in downtown Ithaca.

The Dalai Lama encouraged his listeners to "reach out, or there will be
more distance, more suspicion" between religions. "You can make a
contribution for a better understanding between the traditions," he said.

The interfaith service was the second of the Dalai Lama's three public
speaking appearances during his two-day visit to Ithaca. Later
Wednesday, he gave a lecture on the "Eight Verses for Training the Mind"
at a sold-out appearance at Ithaca College.

On Tuesday, the Dalai Lama, making his first visit to Ithaca since 1991,
spoke nearly an hour to more than 5,500 people at Cornell University.

The Dalai Lama came to Ithaca to visit and bless the site of the new
temple that will be the home of the Namgyal branch of Buddhism in North

On Wednesday, the 72-year-old monk told his audience that he still sees
much injustice and suffering as violence continues throughout the world.

But, he said, he also sees that the modern world is much more
interconnected than in the past, and there is more interaction between
people of the world's different religious faiths.

"Occasionally, religion has been an obstacle to coming close, but not
because of the religious traditions but because of the followers of
those traditions. We are not very serious," the Dalai Lama said.

"But these traditions have the potential to keep hope alive," he said.

Urging unity, the Dalai Lama said, "One individual, one nation, one
government cannot easily solve these problems. But humanity, six billion
people, much depends on our own effort, on our own actions. Ultimately
people will have to do something."

On Wednesday, the Buddhist holy man shared the stage with Audrey
Shenandoah, an Onondaga Indian Nation clan mother, and Dorothy Cotton, a
former Southern Christian Leadership Conference education director who
marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as the Catholic, Muslim and
Jewish chaplains from Cornell University.

The Dalai Lama has led Tibet's government in exile in India since 1959.
He has spent the last half-century as an international political leader,
advocating for freedom of the people of Tibet, opposing violence and
calling for respect of human rights worldwide. He won the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1989.

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