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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."

'I'm a Marxist:' Dalai Lama

May 23, 2010

(AFP) ? May 20, 2010

NEW YORK ? Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Thursday that he
is a Marxist, yet credits capitalism for bringing new freedoms to the
communist country that exiled him -- China.

"Still I am a Marxist," the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader said in New
York, where he arrived with an entourage of robed monks and a heavy
security detail to give a series of paid public lectures.

Marxism has "moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make
profits," the Dalai Lama, 74, said.

However, he credited China's embrace of market economics for breaking
communism's grip over the world's most populous country and forcing the
ruling Communist Party to "represent all sorts of classes."

Capitalism "brought a lot of positive to China. Millions of people's
living standards improved," he said.

The Dalai Lama, giving a series of lectures at the Radio City Music Hall
in central Manhattan until Sunday, struck a strikingly optimistic note
in general, saying that he believed the world is becoming a kinder, more
unified place.

Anti-war movements, huge international aid efforts after Haiti's
earthquake this year, and the election of Barack Obama as the first
black president in a once deeply racist United States are "clear signs
of human beings being more mature," he said.

The Dalai Lama said he felt a "sense of the oneness of human beings,"
jokingly adding: "If those thoughts are wrong, please let me know!"

Although China, which forced him to escape for his life in 1959, is
loosening up, he had harsh words for a communist leadership that he said
still seeks to rule by fear.

As Chinese become richer, "they want more freedoms, they want an
independent judiciary, they want to have a free sort of press," he said.

The Chinese government, he said, seeks harmony, "but harmony must come
out of the heart, not out of fear. So far, methods to bring harmony
mostly rely on use of force."

Asked why tickets to his lectures are selling for as much as hundreds
dollars, the Dalai Lama said none of the money went to him personally.
"You should ask the organizer. I have no connection."

He said he was "always asking the organizer: tickets must be cheap. For
myself, I've never accepted a single dollar like that."

Some of the money goes to charities, such as hunger relief, he said.
"Unfortunately," he added, bursting into his trademark laughter,
sometimes the "organizations are a little richer."
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