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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?"

Dalai Lama takes peace plea to Ottawa

October 31, 2007

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to hold private talks with Harper today
Oct 29, 2007
Toronto Star

OTTAWA–On the eve of an unprecedented meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Dalai Lama, exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, delivered a
powerful message of non-violence to Ottawa.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, arrived on a chilly sunny morning yesterday for a visit to Canada that includes a public address in Toronto Wednesday.

Today, for the first time, a Canadian prime minister will formally receive on Parliament Hill the man called "His Holiness" by millions worldwide.

The meeting between Harper and the Dalai Lama – who is viewed by the Chinese government as a separatist threat – will be private, with no news conference
scheduled, just a photo opportunity.

Still, it is a significant step, supporters say, one the Prime Minister's office is portraying as a gesture in support of human rights that is explicitly non-political.

Yesterday, the 72-year-old Buddhist leader, who fled Tibet when China took control of the region in 1959, had a message of his own to deliver.

In a saffron robe, the Dalai Lama entered Ottawa's packed Civic Centre to a standing ovation, bowed to all corners, shed his shoes, donned a visor against bright
television lights, and sat cross-legged in an armchair to speak about global citizenship and universal responsibility.

Joking he was exercising his rights as an honorary citizen of Canada, he went on to address serious problems, including the rights denied Burmese citizens living
under martial law and Tibetans living under Chinese rule.

He warned nations and their citizens not to demonize enemies, but to see them as other human beings with the same interests at heart.

"Destruction of (another) part of the world is destruction of yourself," he said. "So that means talk. Keep in mind their interest, their right. The only way is
compromise. A one-sided victory is impossible."

He praised U.S. President George W. Bush. "I love him, really, as a human being. Very nice person, very simple, straightforward, no formality."

But the Dalai Lama said he told Bush he had reservations about his approach to Iraq, which the Tibetan leader said did not have "necessarily a bad intention" but
lacked "a level of awareness about reality."

American aggression toward the Arab world will "ultimately" have "consequences everywhere," he said. He also urged Western nations to show patience towards
the "young democracy" that is Russia.

Violence by citizens will not counter state violence in Burma or Tibet, he said. He reminded his audience of the "half a million" Tibetans killed trying to resist Chinese
rule, and the students killed in "the Tiananmen massacre" in the 1989 democratic uprising in Beijing.

"If we invoke violence, that's almost like suicide. No use."

Above all, the man who begins each day at 3:30 a.m. with up to five hours of prayer, meditation, yogic breathing and physical exercise, urged compassion and
sticking "to our principles of non-violence."

It is the same message the Dalai Lama will bring to the meeting with the Prime Minister, said Conservative Senator Consiglio Di Nino, a member of the
Parliamentary Friends of Tibet who is escorting the Tibetan leader around Ottawa.

The Dalai Lama will also meet Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and the two other opposition party leaders before heading to Toronto, where he will speak about the
Art of Happiness at a public event at the Roger's Centre Wednesday.

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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