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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?"

Tibetan spiritual leader says technology gets in the way of peace

September 28, 2009

CP - September 27, 2009
By Terri Theodore

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama told the 2009
Vancouver Peace Summit Sunday that technology may be getting in the way of
peace.

Even as he used the technology of a tiny microphone attached to his ear and
watched his friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak from South Africa via
video, the revered spiritual leader expressed concern about how technology
may be eliminating compassion.

"I think technology may have some benefits for a smart brain, but no
capacity to produce compassion," he told about 12,000 devoted fans at the
opening session of the peace summit.

In a panel discussion about peace, the Dalai Lama said it is that compassion
and awareness that will lead to peace.

EBay founder, and fellow panellist, Pierre Omidyar disagreed with the Dalai
Lama's comments about technology, saying the Internet has enabled us to
discover that people around the world have much more in common than first
believed and that can lead to peace.

The Dalai Lama is the star attraction for the three-day conference that will
see Nobel Peace Prize winners and spiritual, corporate and social leaders
gather to talk about world peace.

He told the crowd that peace starts first with individuals, goes to the
family level, the community, and then on to leaders.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were both presented with the
Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness at the summit.

Tutu, who issued his thanks via video from South Africa, said religion has
often been used almost diabolically to encourage such things as xenophobia
and homophobia.

"I sometimes wonder how people could ever think that God is a Christian," he
said. "The spirit of God is wider than any one particular faith."

Tutu injured his back and apologized for not being able to attend the
summit.

Tutu's daughter Reverend Mpho Tutu accepted the prize for her father and
took his place during the panel discussion on peace.

She believed technology could be considered neutral in the quest for peace.

"We can employ technology as a force for good, as a force for drawing us
closer together," she said.

In a video taped welcome, Governor General Michaelle Jean said the peace
summit was a "dazzling constellation of global-change agents."

Jean said international gatherings such as these are crucial to renew the
spirit of peace and that it's time to create a new civic road map for world
peace.

"Yet daunting challenges lie ahead, every day women and men are slaughtered
and maimed in armed conflicts," she told the crowd.

Other summit participants include former prime minister Kim Campbell, Mary
Robinson, the first female president of Ireland and a former UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Nobel prize winners Betty Williams and
Mairead Maguire and authors Eckhart Tolle and Sir Ken Robinson.

The summit is to conclude Tuesday with a discussion on women and
peace-building between the Dalai Lama and California first lady Maria
Shriver, who has helped create many programs that help women change their
lives.
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