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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama addresses China-Tibet conflict during appearance at Rackham Auditorium

April 20, 2008

Posted by anash
The Ann Arbor News
April 18, 2008

In a press conference minutes ago, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said
he hopes to convey inner peace on an individual, family and community
level during his talks Saturday and Sunday at the University of
Michigan's Crisler Arena.

During the 40-minute press conference, the Dalai Lama addressed a
variety of issues, ranging from his feelings toward the China-Tibet
conflict to his views on environmentalism.

The Dalai Lama was about 40 minutes late for the press conference and
arrived amid tight security. He spoke to a room of about 50 people from
the media.

Sunday's Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability will address
environmental issues, which His Holiness said were close the hearts of
many Buddhist monks because the Buddha was born, died and achieved
enlightenment under a tree.

"The monk should ... care about the environment, about the tree, and
things like that," the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama also said he was sad about reports last month of violence
in Tibet, where he is exiled from, but that his U.S. speaking tour is
not political in nature.

However, he said he empathized with international protests of the
Beijing Olympics, which has brought attention to China's poor record in
human rights, religious freedom and environmental issues.

"I feel sorry," His Holiness said about the protests. "In the meantime,
I fully understand why these people express these (feelings)."

The Dalai Lama also addressed protests against him. Some Chinese have
said the Dalai Lama hasn't spoken out against Tibetan-backed violence
strongly enough. Some local Chinese have said they are upset because
China's voice isn't being heard in the conflict.

"I welcome (criticism)," the Dalai Lama said. " ... I cannot say, 'shut
up.' We are fully committed to the expression of freedom. Expression of
freedom is one of the important aspect(s) of democracy."

Near the end of the press conference, His Holiness promoted peace and
understanding between the world's religions. He said that the belief
that different religions inherently clash is dangerous and wrong.

"All tradition(s) carry the message of love ... (and) tolerance," he said.

Although tickets for Saturday and Sunday's lectures are gone, you can
watch the talks live at www.mlive.com/annarbornews.
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