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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?"

Bombers have fan in the Dalai Lama

November 13, 2007

Sat Nov 10 2007

By Joe Paraskevas
Winnipeg Free Press

Divine interception

THE Winnipeg Blue Bombers have received all the inspiration they 
should need to win their playoff game Sunday. The Dalai Lama, one of 
the world's holiest figures, has emerged as a surprise Big Blue booster.
"Victory to the Blue Bombers," he scribbled in Tibetan with a black 
Sharpie marker on some Winnipeg Blue Bomber equipment, adding his 
name to the lore of this city's Grey Cup-seeking CFL team.

The Bombers play the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division 
semifinal in Winnipeg on Sunday.

The exiled Tibetan leader signed the helmet and an official CFL 
football as he flew to Ottawa two weeks ago.

Winnipeg businessman David Asper had sought permission from Tibetan 
officials to have the Dalai Lama sign the Blue Bomber gear.

Asper, executive vice-president of CanWest Global Communications, who 
has made a bid to buy the Bombers and build the team a new stadium, 
was among about 100 people to meet the Dalai Lama when he was given a 
reception by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

On Friday, Asper said he was simply showing the Dalai Lama how 
passionate Bomber fans are for their team.

"It's an amazing photo," Asper said of the photograph taken after the 
Dalai Lama had inscribed the helmet and football Asper had supplied.

"I don't think there's anybody with a photo like this."

The original photo of the Dalai Lama and the Bomber gear is in 
Asper's office. Asper said he had also sent a copy to the team.

Leaders of Canada, the United States and Germany have drawn criticism 
from the Chinese government for meeting recently with the Dalai Lama.

China has branded the Dalai Lama a separatist and accused the foreign 
countries of interfering in Chinese politics.

joe.paraskevas@freepress.mb.ca
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