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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama's message to thousands in Davie: Don't give up

February 26, 2010

The Dalai Lama spoke to thousands in Davie,
covering a variety of topics including terrorism
and war, the economy, Tibet, and his meeting last
week with President Barack Obama.
By Jaweed Kaleem, jkaleem@miamiherald.com
Miami Herald, Florida
February 24, 2010

Days after a high-profile meeting with President
Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama addressed thousands
of fans during a sold-out speech Tuesday at Nova
Southeastern University in Davie with a message
for struggling and disenchanted Americans: Don't give up.

"Sometimes, difficulties are good for us," he
said in his first public appearance as part of a
two-day speaking tour in South Florida.
Repeatedly praising American values and society,
the revered Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader
said he has always admired the United States for
its "individual freedom, liberty, openness."

Sitting cross-legged in a chair onstage in his
iconic red and yellow robe, the Dalai Lama
covered a variety of topics, including terrorism
and war, the economy, Tibet and spirituality in
an hourlong speech on ``The Effect of Compassion on the Global Community."

Stressing the world's "fundamental oneness," he
said that ``as soon as we are born on this
planet, we have equal rights, every person." Many
of the world's problems today, he said,
``essentially are our creation. And in the
meantime, nobody wants to talk about it. There is
too much of a self-centered attitude."

PROMOTING PEACE

The Dalai Lama also advocated dialogue with
enemies and praised education as a tool to battle terrorism and promote peace.

"Today, one [Osama] bin Laden. If you handle
wrong way, the next, 10 bin Ladens and then 100
bin Ladens," he said earlier to reporters,
echoing themes of his speech. ``If America, a few
decades ago, had spent more money on education,
health in Afghanistan, Iraq, these areas, I think
things today would be different."

The Dalai Lama spoke highly of Obama, who met
with the spiritual leader at the White House on
Thursday despite a stern warning from Chinese
officials that the meeting would cause ``serious
harm'' to U.S.-China relations. He praised the
president's outreach to the international
community and his advocacy of compromise.

Obama's international popularity ``means he also
has extra moral responsibility,"the Dalai Lama
said. The Buddhist leader and the White House
have given few details on the meeting, but the
Dalai Lama said topics included disarmament,
reducing violence and "the Middle Way," the Dalai
Lama's theory for peacefully resolving conflict between Tibet and China.

POKING FUN

Peppering his speech with laughter, the Dalai
Lama poked fun at Obama's short hair, which he
said "looks also like a monk," and pulled his
right ear to make fun of Obama's ears. ``You and
me, we are same -- same human being,'' he said he told the president.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959, nine years
after China occupied the region in the Himalayas,
and has since led a government-in-exile from India.

The Chinese government considers him a separatist
who wants to overthrow Chinese rule of Tibet, but
the Dalai Lama says he just wants Tibetans to
have more influence over their homeland while
staying under Chinese rule. On Tuesday, he said
he has compassion for the Chinese, but disagrees
with their treatment of Tibetans.
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