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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Dalai Lama calls Irish man his hero, honours him

May 7, 2010

Phayul [Wednesday, May 05, 2010 15:32]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala, May 5 - A man who is known for his compassion, from whom
many draw inspiration and who is looked up to as their hero has found
his hero in another man. "He has an indomitable spirit, he is a real
practitioner of compassion, and a living example of peace, he is my
hero," said the Dalai Lama as he introduced Richard Moore, a 48 year old
Irish man who at the age of 10 was blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a
British soldier.

The Tibetan leader was speaking today to a gathering at the TCV School
where more than a thousand Tibetan children have gathered to listen to
the man who inspires the Tibetan leader.
Richard was accompanied by Charles, the British soldier who had shot him
on May 4, 1972 in Derry, Ireland, Richard?s hometown. Richard said he
had no bitterness or anger against Charles whom he met in 2006 and
befriended him. In 1996, Richard started ?the Children in crossfire?, a
charity that help children around the world who are caught in the
crossfire of poverty.
"I have learned to see life in a different way", is how he describes his
remarkable acceptance of what, for most, would be a debilitating trauma.
?You can take away my sight, but you can not take away my vision which
is to help impoverished children all over the world.? The story of
Children in Crossfire has its roots in what began as a tragedy and ended
as a triumph of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Working in
Africa, Asia and South America Children in Crossfire has become an
international organisation working to protect and promote the rights of
some of the world's most vulnerable children.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama had personally initiated today?s gathering
as he thought ?it would be a wonderful opportunity for the Tibetan
children to interact with the man whom he looks up to as a hero and
inspiration.?
?Many of us would be mad in anger and animosity at the person who
blinded us, even I might get bitter against the man but Richard has not
had a tint of bitterness against Charles, which is very difficult
especially as a child with no formal training in religious philosophies.
That touched me deeply,? said the 1989 Nobel peace laureate, adding that
people like Richard are truly deserving of Nobel peace prize.

The only regret that Richard had after he was blinded was that he would
never see his mother and father again, said the Dalai Lama.

His Holiness honoured Richard with a Khata (traditional well-wishing
scarf) and a citation which the Tibetan leader read himself to the
audience that comprised mainly of children from 5 schools. Richard
became one of the very few people in the world to receive citation of
honour from the Dalai Lama himself.

Before leaving the stage, the Dalai Lama removed his glasses, held
Richard?s hand and gently caressed on his own face and said, ?Since he
can?t see my face this is how I say goodbye to him,? before bursting
into his childlike laughter. Richard later interacted with the Tibetan
children who expressed joy in meeting him and asked questions about
Richard?s experiences.

The Dalai Lama was the key note speaker at Children in Crossfire?s 10th
Anniversary Conference in Derry in 2007 when Richard was invited by the
Tibetan leader to visit here.

Richard?s father, Liam, offered to give him his own eyes in 1972. Thirty
seven years later his father?s question is the title of Richard's
autobiography, Can I Give Him My Eyes

Richard lives in Ireland with his mother, 91, wife Rita and two daughters.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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