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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 urges Canadians to think globally

November 2, 2007

Updated Sun. Oct. 28 2007 7:47 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The world's politicians and the public needs to unite to resolve current
international problems through a holistic manner that puts global
responsibility at the forefront. That was the message of a speech Sunday
delivered by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, to thousands of people
gathered at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

The exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader told the audience that there is a gap
between perception and reality.

"We have to look at the whole world as part of (ourselves)," he said.
"Destruction of a part of the world is the destruction of yourself."

The Dalai Lama told the crowd that when he met U.S. President George
Bush earlier this month, he really "loved him." He said Bush was a
simple, straightforward person. But he told him that although he
genuinely liked the President as a person, he disagreed with some of his
policies.

He said Bush's Iraq policy had good intentions, but it was unrealistic.

"So, instead of solving the problem, (it) increased the problem," he said.

The Dalai Lama spoke on a number of subjects including the need for
Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America to eventually unite in an
effort to resolve problems in the hemisphere.

He added that Russia should become a part of NATO because it is
essentially a European country.

And the Dalai Lama also noted that the world has to come together to
destroy nuclear weapons, which he said were useless in the modern world.
But he pointed out that resolving such problems begins with the individual.

"First inner disarmament, then external disarmament," he said.

Although many of the subjects in the Dalai Lama's speech were serious,
he spoke in a light, often jovial manner. His speech was peppered with
jokes and hearty belly laughs. At one point he paused to take off his
shoes, telling the crowd that he wanted to "sit more comfortably."

The Dalai Lama arrived in Ottawa Sunday as part of a historic trip. He
was greeted by Environment Minister John Baird and Ottawa Mayor Larry
O'Brien at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday morning.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will publicly meet the Dalai Lama in his
Parliament Hill office on Monday afternoon -- the first time a Canadian
prime minister has ever held formal talks at government office with the
exiled spiritual leader.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin met with the Dalai Lama in 2004 for a
one-hour private talk held at the home of the Roman Catholic Archbishop
of Ottawa. Martin's predecessor, Jean Chrétien, refused such a meeting.

The spiritual leader is currently on a North American tour to promote
Tibetan autonomy and the preservation of Tibetan Buddhist culture ahead
of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

In 1949, China invaded the Himalayan nation. The following year, at the
age of 16, the Dalai Lama assumed full political power as Head of State
and Government in Tibet.

After a failed uprising in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to northern India
where he remains in exile.

Chinese officials are vehemently opposed to foreign leaders meeting with
the Dalai Lama, claiming the Nobel laureate is a political figure and a
separatist.

Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel received tongue lashings from
the Chinese leadership for their recent public meetings with the Dalai
Lama.

As expected, the Chinese embassy in Ottawa issued a terse statement
critical of Harper's public talk on Parliament Hill. The statement
referred to the Dalai Lama as a political figure engaged in
"secessionist" activities.

This is the Dalai Lama's first visit to Canada since he received an
honorary Canadian citizenship last year. He joins Holocaust hero Raoul
Wallenberg, Nelson Mandela and, most recently, Burmese democracy
activist Aung San Suu Kyi in receiving the honour.

Later in the week, the Tibetan Buddhist leader will travel to Toronto
where he will hold a public talk Wednesday night on "The Art of
Happiness" at the Rogers' Centre.

Sunday's event was hosted by the Canada Tibet Committee.

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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