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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?"

Tibet's next leader?

July 19, 2010

Built like a basketball player, the Karmapa is modern in his tastes
Strait Times (Taiwan)
July 14, 2010

DHARAMSHALA (India) -- FOR those looking for the
next spiritual leader of Tibet after the Dalai
Lama, the ageing monk's 75th birthday ceremony last week offered some clues.

Sat next to the Nobel laureate at the front of
the stage was the imposing figure of the Karmapa,
a thick-set, 26-year-old with the highest profile
among a cast of young lamas who might fill the void that will one day be left.

Separated by two generations, the Dalai Lama and
the Karmapa share a particular bond as Tibetan
figureheads who both fled their homeland for an uncertain life in exile.

The Karmapa, who made the perilous journey in
1999, is now 26 - the same age as the Dalai Lama
when he escaped in 1959 following a failed
Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

'You could say he's like a father figure to me. I
look at him as my teacher and my guide,' the
Karmapa said of the Dalai Lama during an
interview with AFP the day before the celebrations on July 6.

Both monks live in Dharamshala, the northern
Indian hill town that serves as the base of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Built like a basketball player, the Karmapa is
modern in his tastes. He has an iPod, admits to
playing video games and revealed an impressive
knowledge of developments in the football World
Cup. Throughout the interview, he spoke slowly
and guardedly, clearly sensitive to his position
as a 'guest' in India and also wary of defining
any role he might play in the future. -- AFP
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