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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan leader: at WYD, pope is calling young people "to make humanity better"

July 17, 2008

by Nirmala Carvalho, Italy

The prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile talks about WYD,
and the contribution of the pope, "a great defender of religious freedom
and of rights". And he recounts how Tibetans are seeking to preserve
their culture from the genocide practiced by Beijing.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - "Pope Benedict XVI is asking the youth
of the world to go against the currents that are sweeping away values
and human dignity. My prayer is that people understand his advice and
implement it, because it will make a difference in the world and help to
bring about a civilisation of love". Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, the
Kalon Tripa (prime minister) of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in an
exclusive interview with AsiaNews, talks about the significance of World
Youth Day.

"I understand that more than 50,000 youth from all continents are
attending WYD. For me this is a big sign that the pope is the moral
compass for the youth of the world. Youth are the future of humanity,
and the pope is infusing them with values and principles of faith and
morality. This can be the starting point to change the future of
humanity, because only the power of youth can change humanity for the

"I greet His Holiness the pope on this WYD. The pope is a very respected
person, and a great defender and promoter of human rights and dignity
and religious freedom. We have great affection for him, and we
appreciate the pope's efforts for these fundamental values".

Rinpoche is preparing to travel to the United States, where he will
participate in a symposium on the "Celebration of Tibetan Culture", and
in the presentation of his book: "Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised
World: Tibetan Buddhism and Today's World".

"This 'Celebration of Tibetan Culture' is all the more important because
a cultural genocide is taking place inside Tibet, our culture is being
systematically destroyed, so we have to do everything possible to
preserve and transmit Tibetan culture among Tibetans the world over. So
we are trying through such channels to promote Tibetan culture wherever
Tibetans live".
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