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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."

Dalai Lama Addresses Impromptu Crowd in Saint Mary's Chapel

April 29, 2009

Post-Bulletin, Rochester, MN
April 27, 2009

The Dalai Lama met with Tibetans and others this
afternoon at the Saint Marys Hospital chapel
while he is at Mayo Clinic for a health checkup.

In his third visit to Rochester since 2006, the
spiritual and political leader of Tibetan
Buddhists told the audience that they must
encourage the younger generation to speak the
Tibetan language, said Tenzin Samten of Edina,
one of many Tibetans who hurried from the Twin
Cities this morning once they learned the Dalai Lama was in Rochester.

Minnesota has the second-largest concentration of
Tibetans behind New York. Most of the Tibetan
population in Minnesota is in the Twin Cities.

Samten relayed what the Dalai Lama said during
his 40-minute talk that began shortly after 1
p.m. Monday. Close to 400 people packed in the
chapel at the hospital's east end to listen. A
security detail was seen earlier in the day at
Saint Marys Hospital. The Dalai Lama said he was
here for a physical checkup. He visited Rochester
in 2006 and again in 2008 for similar visits to Mayo.

The Dalai Lama, the recipient of the 1989 Nobel
Peace Prize, now leads a government in exile from
Dharamshala, India. Also called Tenzin Gyatso,
the 73-year-old lama is believed by Tibetan
Buddhists to be a reincarnation of previous Dalai
Lamas; he is the 14th man to hold the title.

The Buddhist leader told his audience that they
should do good work for others in their community
and not rely on him, Samten said.

The Dalai Lama noted the conflict between Tibet
and China, but said "history is history," Samten
said. Instead, the Dalai Lama said Tibetans and
Chinese people can work together through
education and knowledge to improve their relationship.

On Thursday, the Dalai Lama is scheduled to speak
in Boston at Harvard University and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Sunday,
he visited a soup kitchen in San Francisco.
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