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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."

Universal star

February 24, 2010

By Tony Castro, Staff Writer
LA Daily News
February 20, 2010

UNIVERSAL CITY - Appearing at Universal Studios,
home of The Simpsons Ride and other theme park
thrills, the Dalai Lama could have been mistaken
as another California roadside attraction Sunday.

The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, after
all, looked the superstar part with all the superstar trappings:

He flew into Los Angeles on billionaire Ron
Burkle's private jet, stepped on to the venue
stage in flowing robes in cardinal-and-gold USC
Trojan colors, and used a mixture of charming
self-deprecating humor and folksy Mark Twain-like
wit, to dazzle some 5,000 at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

At times, amid the throng of admirers hanging on
to his every word inside the cavernous
amphitheater, the silence was enough to hear a
pin drop, as the Dalai Lama sat in yoga style on
an stuffed chair and proclaimed:

"The future of humanity ultimately depends on the
public," he said in halting English.

Or when the Dalai Lama issued a beatitude that played on the Golden Rule:

"The destruction of your neighbor is the
destruction of yourself. That is the new reality."

Or when he contrasted the 20th Century's moral
irresponsibility and warfare, including the use
of nuclear weapons, which killed 200 million
people. So far, recent wars have crushed his
hopes for the 21st century hinging on inner peace and a new generation.

"Young people," Tibet's exiled leader said, "you
have very, very crucial responsibility to create
peaceful century, happy century that's really important.

"How do you create peaceful century? Ultimately,
inner peace is very important (and) our young
children, we have to cultivate and nurture human compassion."

His appearance in Los Angeles, coming three days
after meeting President Barack Obama at the White
House, was not without a soft-peddled rebuke of
the continuing U.S. war in the Middle East and its cost to this country.

The Dalai Lama playfully stuck out his tongue and
drew a big ovation mixed with laughter as he said:

"A large portion of your taxpayer money is wasted
... Of course, this is not a political statement!"

The crowd that came to hear Tenzin Gyatso, the
14th Dalai Lama, was overwhelmingly middle-age
and few attended with their children - though his
appearance here was on behalf of Whole Child
International, a nonprofit group that supports orphaned and abandoned children.

And, replete with the superstar treatment, the
Dalai Lama's appearance came with an opening act - singer Sheryl Crow.

"I told my friends," she said in the middle of
her three-song performance, "this is the coolest gig I've ever gotten to do."
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