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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."

"War is senseless," says Dalai Lama in Okinawa

November 8, 2009

By Sherab Woeser
Phayul
November 4, 2009

Naha, Nov. 4 -- On the last leg of his Japan
visit, His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday
offered prayers at Okinawa Peace Memorial park.

Arriving in the afternoon at the provincial
capital of Naha, the exiled Tibetan leader, along
with Father LaSalle Parsons and Venerable
Hirotaka Okada the chief priest of Hase Temple
prayed for those who died during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

"We must remember that for each of those who died
during the war, their life was as dear to them as
our life is to us. These reckless killings must
remind us that war is senseless," said the Nobel
Peace laureate. “Only praying and wishing for a
world without problems is unrealistic. We must
learn from our sad experiences and promote the spirit of dialogue."

The exiled Tibetan leader planted a tree sapling
at the Okinawa Mahabodhi Garden in memory of over
150,000 ‘brothers and sisters’ who lost their
lives during the 82 day-long battle in 1945.

"While offering prayers, I heard the song of a
bird which I remember hearing in Lhasa and India
as well. This bird, which is common to all of us,
tells that human ability and intelligence to
develop inner peace and respect each other’s
views is also common to the entire humanity,"
said His Holiness. "We all have the same
potential to create genuine close relationships."

Responding to a question, the 74-year Tibetan
leader expressed ‘full support’ to US President
Barrack Obama’s proposal of advancing nuclear disarmament.

"Elimination of nuclear weapons is the first
step. It may not be achieved in our lifetime, but
we must leave a blueprint to the next generation
for complete demilitarisation of the whole
world," said the Nobel Peace laureate.

Speaking to the media, Father LaSalle Parsons
thanked His Holiness for blessing Okinawa with
his message of peace and reconciliation.

"He does what he says. He travels the world and
makes genuine effort to create peace and compassion," said Father Parsons.

Earlier in the morning, His Holiness interacted
with over a thousand monks at Matsuyama’s Shiki Memorial Hall.

Expressing ‘happiness’ at the opportunity of
exchanging experience and knowledge on Buddha
dharma, the Tibetan leader said, "We all are the
same students of our beloved teacher, Buddha Shakyamuni."

Encouraging the Japanese monks to ‘study more and
investigate more’, His Holiness said, "the cause
of all problems is ignorance and ignorance cannot
be overcome just by faith. You need wisdom and
knowledge through practice to overcome ignorance."

Appreciating the views and questions from the
audience, the exiled Tibetan leader conveyed his
wish for ‘further dialogues and interactions’ in the future’.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give
a public speech on peace and a compassionate mind on Thursday.
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