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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?"

London University Honours His Holiness the Dalai Lama

May 21, 2008

Office of Tibet, London
May 21, 2008

His Holiness with the framed Honorary Doctorate certificate flanked
by Vice Chancellor Brian Roper and Chair of the Board of Governors
Peter Anwyl. (Photo by Ian Cumming/Office of Tibet, London)
LONDON, May 20 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 12-day visit to the UK
began today with the London Metropolitan University awarding His
Holiness with an honorary doctorate.

Receiving the honorary doctorate scroll from the university's Chair
of the Board of Governors Peter Anwyl at a function in a city hall,
His Holiness told a distinguished gathering of university staff,
students and invited guests from other educational institutes, that
his attendance at this function was fitting because the main purpose
of his visit to different countries was educational and to promote
human values and religious harmony.

"Everyone wants a happy and successful life; but these cannot be
bought. Higher studies does not necessarily make a person happy and
this is why the most important factor is to develop compassion," His
Holiness said adding that educational institutes have the
responsibility to impart both education and moral ethical values.

His Holiness thanked the Vice Chancellor Brian Roper and others in
the University for providing scholarships to Tibetans students and
said he felt proud to hear that the Tibetan students were doing well.

The London Metropolitan University is the largest single university
in London and has 150 years of service in the field of education. It
has a diverse body of 34,000 students, of whom 7,000 are
international students from over 150 different countries. The
university currently has nine Tibetan students.

His Holiness delivering the acceptance speech. (Photo by Ian
Cumming/Office of Tibet, London)
Making a special reference to the Tibetan students in the audience,
His Holiness told them that the purpose of modern education should be
improving not only their individual life but also to contributing
toward Tibet's future. He said presently in Tibet under China's
totalitarian rule, education is much politicised.

"You students have great opportunity to gain from modern education
and uphold our traditional Tibetan values," said His Holiness, who
wore the purple and grey graduation gown and hat offered by the university.

Prior to inviting the Presiding Officer and Chair of the university's
Board of Governors, to confer upon His Holiness the "degree of Doctor
of Philosophy, honoris causa", the Vice Chancellor gave a brief
outline of His Holiness' early life in Tibet and goodwill he has
earned since coming into exile.

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a worldwide figurehead and a man who
has inspired countless people throughout his life. Today we honour
him, not just for his leadership of his people, but also for his
demonstration, through all of his words and deeds, that peaceful
means of resolution always remain possible," the Vice Chancellor said.

In a message to the university's souvenir booklet to mark the
conferment of the honorary doctorate to His Holiness, the Vice
Chancellor writes:

"It is our great pleasure to confer on His Holiness an Honorary
Doctorate of the University in recognition of his outstanding
achievements in promoting peace globally, and his spiritual guidance
and leadership, which has been an inspiration to so many people."

Earlier in a press release issued by the university, the
Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based at the Office of
Tibet, London, Mr. Tsering Tashi, was quoted as saying, "The London
Metropolitan University's decision to confer His Holiness with an
Honorary Doctorate will be welcomed not only by the Tibetan people
but also by millions of people around the world who have been touched
and feel inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's efforts to promote
peace and harmony not only for Tibet but also for the world and
humanity at large."

The Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate's May 20 to 31, 2008 visit to the UK
is at the invitation of the Dharma Network (formed of various
Buddhist organisations in the UK), the Tibet Society UK, the All
Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, and the Oxford University's
Blackfriars Hall and the Centre for Buddhist Studies, to give a
series of public talks and teachings in London, Nottingham and
Oxford. During this visit, confirmed since last year, His Holiness
besides addressing members of parliament will also be meeting with
HRH The Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leaders of main
political parties, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leaders of other
religions and faiths.

His Holiness will also meet with over 230 family members of former
British officials and others who had worked or visited Tibet in the
late 19th Century and up to 1950 prior to the Chinese occupation
along with a few Tibet experts who have contributed significantly to
the cause of Tibet. His Holiness has also accepted the invitation
from the renowned Pitts River Museum in Oxford to launch the museum's
Tibet Photo Album website.
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