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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?"

Devoted Vancouver crowd gathers for Dalai Lama

September 28, 2009

canada.com - September 27, 2009

VANCOUVER - The Dalai Lama told a peace summit in Vancouver on Sunday that
people must look within themselves for peace and compassion.

"Real change must start with individuals, then family, then community," he
said in a low, quiet voice that was difficult to hear.

"We really need to embrace the concept of the whole world as 'we.' "

The Tibetan spiritual leader arrived for the summit at Vancouver's Chan
Centre on Sunday morning with the entourage of a rock star, a full
complement of security guards and handlers.

More than a dozen men in suits piled out of a van and several black luxury
cars to escort him into the back entrance of the theatre.

Wrapped in maroon and gold robes, the Dalai Lama smiled and bowed to the
hordes of media gathered outside to watch his entrance.

More than a thousand people attended the event, World Peace Through Personal
Peace.

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean appeared via video. She described the gathering of
global spiritual leaders in Vancouver as "a dazzling constellation of global
change agents."

She called on the guest speakers and the crowd to use the summit as a
catalyst for change.

"You have a unique opportunity to dream big," she said.

"Please be inspired. The world is counting on you. Peace is within our
grasp."

Victor Chan, friend of the Dalai Lama and founding director of the Dalai
Lama Center for Peace and Education, confirmed from the stage that
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu would not be attending the event due to an
injured back.

Before the Dalai Lama arrived, Hoshen Chi stood patiently outside the doors
to the Chan Centre, waiting to enter the building.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Chi, who said he has wanted to
see the Dalai Lama since he was 15 years old.

"I want to see what he's like," said the 26-year-old college student. "I'd
like to hear what he says about personal peace, because my life is in a bit
of turmoil right now."

Tom St. Clair and his wife, Marra, came from California to celebrate their
one-year anniversary at the summit.

"It's about him, but it's also about the collective energy of the people,"
he said.

"The people who go to see the Dalai Lama all bring a sense of peace and
compassion, so all that energy is a really special experience."

On Tuesday, the Dalai Lama will speak at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown
Vancouver, which includes a conversation with Maria Shriver, the wife of
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In advance of Sunday's Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama was guest editor of
weekend edition of the Vancouver Sun.

The newspaper donated 10 cents for every special edition sold over the
weekend to the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, a non-political,
non-religious, Vancouver-based charitable organization focused on fostering
personal and global peace.
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