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<-Back to WTN Archives Dalai Lama visit huge success
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Friday, August 12, 2005

1. Dalai Lama visit huge success

By Matthew Allen

Zurich, August 12 - The Dalai Lama's Swiss visit was a bigger hit than expected with 30,000 people
attending his teachings, raising SFr350,000 ($280,000) for charity.

Organisers said they were also delighted with the publicity the event generated for Tibet after
the Dalai Lama met interior minister Pascal Couchepin last week in a move criticised by China.

About 7,800 weekly passes and up to 12,000 day tickets were snapped up for the teachings on
Buddhist scripture at Zurich's Hallenstadion. In addition, 10,000 people came to a public speech
last Sunday on the subject of compassion.

The takings easily surpassed the SFr3 million costs of staging the event and profits will be
distributed among Swiss, Tibetan and international charities to be named at a later date.

The eight days of teachings were the longest period of tuition the Dalai Lama has given outside
India, where he lives in exile. He also attended an inter-religious meeting at Einsiedeln and
symposiums at Zurich University and the Federal Institute of Technology.

"We are very pleased that all these events were so public and that the Swiss government got
involved as it showed that Tibet is an issue for Switzerland," said the Dalai Lama's spokesman
Kelsang Gyaltsen.

Meeting condemned

"We are encouraged and happy that a minister (Couchepin) was willing to meet the Dalai Lama. It is
important that the world does not forget the hardship that we endure. The problem of Tibet is yet
to be solved."

The Chinese embassy in Bern condemned Couchepin's meeting with the Dalai Lama last Thursday,
accusing the Tibetan spiritual leader of engaging in "anti-China activities" under the "cloak of

Away from politics, the people attending the teachings, from 44 different countries, said they
were delighted to get the opportunity to see and hear the Dalai Lama.

Hans-Georg Mescheden from Germany, told swissinfo: "I am not 100 per cent Buddhist, but Buddhism
shows us the way to live life through meditation. It doesn't matter if you are Christian or
Buddhist to understand this."

"The Dalai Lama is acting for peace which is particularly important in this time of terrorism and
social instability. His message of peace is easy to understand for many religions," said Yangchen
Dru, who fled Tibet to Switzerland in 1960.

The Dalai Lama also found time to see people who were suffering from illnesses. One elderly man,
who had also found refuge in Switzerland from Tibet, said: "I knew this would be my last chance of
meeting the Dalai Lama. Meeting him in person has given me peace and serenity in my final days."

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Dalai Lama visit huge success
  2. His Holiness to Visit Ladakh
  3. Manhae Grand Prize for Peace Awarded to His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
  4. Kathmandu-Lhasa bus service to resume
  5. China struggles with Tibetan Buddhism (AP)
  6. Taiwan and Tibet should increase exchanges: forum (TT)
  7. “March for Tibet's Independence” to reach New York
  8. Thanks for printing truth about Panchem Lama
  9. Experiment in Exile - Since the flight of the Dalai Lama in 1959, Tibet has been reinvented-in Dharamsala, India (Time)

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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