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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?"

His Holiness leaves for Europe: Will visit Germany and UK

May 16, 2008

By Tenzin Sangmo
Phayul
May 15, 2008

New Delhi, May 15 - The Dalai Lama left for Frankfurt early this
morning from New Delhi on a five day visit to Germany. He is
scheduled to give a public talk on Human Rights and
Globalization-Which Challenges Do We Have To Face in Bochum May 16,
another on Peace and Human Rights - The Basis For A Modern Society in
Moenchengladbach May 17, a third on Human Rights As Commitment -
Lessons From History in Nuernberg May 18 and the last on Religion -
Peacemaker Or War Monger in Bamberg May 20 wrapping up his brief
visit in the German nation.

The Tibet Initiative Deutschland, the German Group hosting the Dalai
Lama said the visit will also include meetings with state leaders but
not German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is in Latin America and
President Horst Kohler who has stated scheduling conflicts as a
reason. The refusal of top German officials including Foreign
Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to meet Him has created quite a buzz
in the German Parliament. The press and media have accused their
leaders of being spineless by avoiding the exiled spiritual leader.

Merkel said though she will not be in the country when the Dalai Lama
visits Germany, "but I will certainly meet again with the Dalai Lama
at a later point in the future."

Erwin Huber, leader of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian
sister party of the Christian Democrats said "I would have expected
Steinmeier to show more courage. The Dalai Lama is a symbolic figure
for downtrodden Tibet, so you can't reject an offer to talk to him so
coolly and undiplomatically."

When Chancellor Merkel met with His Holiness for nearly an hour last
September during His previous visit to Germany, she drew flak from
China including the cancellation of official meetings between the two
governments' respective foreign and justice ministries. They were
however, later scheduled the following month in Munich.

The Dalai Lama is nevertheless listed to meet state leaders Juergen
Ruettgers and Roland Koch, the Prime Ministers of North
Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse respectively and the German Federal
Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Ms. Heidemarie
Wieczorek-Zeul in Berlin May 19 .

As part of His Europe tour the Dalai Lama will also speak on human
rights issues, a request made by the Foreign Affairs Committee of UK
Parliament on May 22 following his stay in Germany. He will visit the
UK May 22-30 delivering public talks and teachings.

"Given the particular interest in China's human rights record in
2008, the Committee has requested to take oral evidence from His
Holiness the Dalai Lama on a range of human rights issues when he
visits the United Kingdom in May, and His Holiness has agreed to this
request," said the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Dalai Lama is also to meet with British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown at the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The
spokesman of the PM confirmed the meeting saying, "Prime Minister
Gordon Brown would be meeting His Holiness in his capacity as a
spiritual leader, but no doubt it would be an opportunity to discuss
the recent situation in Tibet."

His Holiness will give deliver an oration on Universal Responsibility
In The Modern World in London, May 22 and another one on Bringing
Meaning to Our Lives in Nottigham May 24 & 25.

He will then begin a three day discourse-teaching on Je Tsongkhapa's
Praise to the Buddha for His Discourses on Dependent Origination
(tendrel toepa) starting May 26. On the morning of May 28 He will
bestow the Vajrasatta Empowerment.

His Holiness will also hold an essential Colloquium on Christian and
Buddhist Traditions and Prayers in Oxford May 29 followed by a public
address at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford on the Wider Understanding
of the Buddhist tradition the next day.
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