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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."

'It's up to people, I won't interfere'

November 24, 2008

Suresh Khatta
Express India
November 21, 2008

Dharamshala, Nov. 20 -- Putting an end to speculation why he was not
attending the six-day special general meeting, Tibetan spiritual
leader and temporal head, the Dalai Lama, today said he was staying
away as he feared that his presence might become a hindrance in the
way of those taking part in the meeting from expressing their views.

The Dalai Lama said, "I have made it very clear that it is now up to
the people (Tibetans). If I mention something, it may become a
hindrance in way of their free expression. So, for the time being, I
have decided to remain completely silent," said the spiritual leader,
when questioned by mediapersons.

The spiritual leader refused to comment on the future relations with
People's Republic of China (PRC). All he said was "no comment" when
asked that he had expressed his disappointment with the Chinese
government and would this affect future relations with PRC.

Earlier, the spiritual leader inaugurated Lions Bhawan here. Today
was his first public appearance in Dharamshala after recovering from
a recent illness.

Addressing the gathering, the Dalai Lama said he had to fulfill three
commitments in his life. First, as a simple citizen, he has to
promote compassion, love, warm heartedness and affection in society.
During the course of his speech, he said a mother is the best teacher
to inculcate compassion in a child.

As a Buddhist monk, he said he has a commitment to promote and
encourage religious harmony among different groups and religions. He
said religious tolerance is a part of Indian culture. So, Indian
brothers and sisters must show the way of tolerance to others, adding
that the path of "ahimsa" is very valuable.

Touching upon the issue of Tibet, the spiritual leader said his third
commitment is Tibet, which is very complicated. However, he did not
elaborate on this issue.

In a diplomatic manner, the Dalai Lama said that India is the "guru,"
while Tibet is "chela" (disciple) and the guru has some responsibility.
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