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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?"

His Holiness the Dalai Lama joins call to make world free of nuclear weapons

November 15, 2010


13 November 2010


Hiroshima, Japan: His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Friday attended the first day of the 11th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in the city of Hiroshima. Permanent Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Laureates supported by the Hiroshima city council organised the three-day summit. President of the Secretariat, Mikhail Gorbachev could not attend the summit because of health reason. Around four hundred delegates and participants from different countries attended the summit.

Among the Nobel Laureates were, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Frederik Willem De Klerk, Mohammed ElBaradei, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Jody Williams. Representatives from United Nations have also come for the summit.

Mayor and the Governor of Hiroshima opened the summit by welcoming the Nobel Laureates and the delegates. A Hiroshima bomb survivor and witness to the tragedy addressed the gathering about his fearful experience on the day.

The Nobel Laureates and the experts discussed and deliberated on three issues divided into three sessions - Hiroshima legacy, A world without nuclear weapons and Threats of nuclear weapons.    

Speaking on Hiroshima legacy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bomb experience is reminder to all of us about the destructive nature of war and nuclear weapons. He hoped that the two cities be the first and last places to experience nuclear bomb, and that the world will never see another Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "We all must seek and work for a world without nuclear weapons, we also need to work for demilitarisation of each nation in order to create a world free of war and weapons. For this we must first achieve inner peace and realise that we are all interdependent. Concept of war is outdated, defeat of your enemy is no longer your victory. Destruction of your neighbor is destruction of yourself," said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Former President of South Africa, De Klerk and other laureates also spoke and discussed on the issues at length. They invited questions from university students from Japan and abroad. They said that Hiroshima has become an important beacon for international community, it is a beacon sending message to the world about the horror of nuclear weapons. Nobel Laureates agreed that the problem lies not with the 'atom' but with the human soul, that this nuclear threat will forever endanger human civilisation if its proliferation is not checked.

According to some delegates, root cause of the presence of nuclear weapon needs to be studied. "Since the fall the Berlin Wall and collapse of Soviet regimes, many countries gave up nuclear options, because threat perception was considerably reduced. Nuclear weapon is very dangerous if it falls into the hand of a totalitarian regime who does not live by international law, and where the government is not accountable to the people. There are countries where there is law, but no justice. So the freedom, human rights and democracy are the pillar of free and responsible society."

His Holiness talked about the importance of co-operation and friendship in building a more harmonious and free society to promote better international understanding. "We all need to work in full co-operation, but it should be based on friendship, and friendship comes from trust. But trust cannot come from fear. A society or a nation which rules by fear and intimidation is very dangerous," His Holiness said.

It was discussed that elimination of nuclear weapons must start from the nations possessing nuclear weapons. Non nuclear states need to urge the nuclear states to make the world a safer place by gradually doing away with this dangerous weapon, and the civil societies need to put pressure on the respective governments to raise this issue of elimination of nuclear weapons from this world.

At the start of the afternoon session, Mr. Weur Kaixi, a former Tiananmen square demonstration leader addressed the delegation on behalf of Mr Liu Xiaobo, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner. He appealed the international community to urge the Chinese communist government to release Mr Liu and give Chinese people their rightful freedom as granted under the constitution.

Tomorrow will be the second day of the summit, wherein the Nobel Laureates and the delegates will continue to discuss on the issues relating to proliferation of nuclear weapons and the role of international community to stop it.

--Report filed by Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, Office of Tibet, Japan

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