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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?"

India: Dalai Lama Condemns Crackdown On Buddhist Monks In Myanmar

November 29, 2007
* News

2007-11-28 10:52

Spiritual and political head of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, center, exits
after meeting various religious leaders

AMRITSAR, INDIA: The Dalai Lama said he supported the recent
pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar and condemned the crackdown on
the Buddhist monks who led them, saying it reminded him of China's
oppression of Tibetans.

Myanmar's military rulers crushed a series of pro-democracy protests in
September, killing at least 15 people according to information
authorities gave the U.N., and detaining nearly 3,000 protesters. Monks
were at the forefront of the movement. Diplomats and dissidents say the
death toll was much higher.

"When I saw pictures of people beating monks I was immediately reminded
of inside Tibet, in our own case, where just a few days ago monks were
beaten by Chinese forces," the Dalai Lama said on Tuesday (27 Nov).

"I am fully committed and I have full support and sympathy for the
demonstrators," the Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters on the
sidelines of the Elijah Interfaith Summit of world religious leaders in
the northern Indian city of Amritsar.

The meeting, which brought together prominent Hindu, Muslim, Christian,
Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish leaders, focused on using religion to spread
peace and resolve conflict.

The Dalai Lama urged the military junta in Myanmar _ a staunchly
Buddhist country _ to heed the Buddha's teachings.

"They should be Buddhists. Please act according to Buddha's message of
compassion," he said.

The military has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1962,
crushing periodic rounds of dissent. It held elections in 1990 but
refused to hand over power to the democratically elected government.

The Dalai Lama has been leading a campaign for autonomy and religious
freedom for Tibet, which China has ruled since its Communist-led forces
invaded Tibet in 1951.

The 72-year-old Dalai Lama, winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, has
been based in the Indian hill town of Dharmsala since he fled Tibet in
the face of advancing Chinese soldiers in 1959. (By GAVIN RABINOWITZ/ AP)
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