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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

North Yorkshire politician meets Dalai Lama

December 15, 2008

Darlington and Stockton Times
Sunday 14th December 2008
 
SUPPORT for Tibet’s struggle as it bids to gain freedom from China has come from a North Yorkshire politician.
 
Liberal Democrat Howard Keal visited the European Parliament for a historic speech by the Dalai Lama.
 
The prospective parliamentary candidate for Thirsk and Malton heard the Tibetan spiritual leader speak on a visit to Brussels.
 
Mr Keal, leader of Ryedale District Councils Lib Dem group, said: "It was a huge privilege to be present at such an important moment.
 
"He called for harmony and unity through trust and strict non violence to achieve autonomy for his country while remaining a part of China.
 
"It was a powerful speech and confirmed my long held view of the absolute justice of the Tibetan cause.
 
"The Dalai Lama showed great warmth and also talked of stress, ambition and greed undermining the right of everyone to be happy.
 
"He is a voice of freedom and humanity like Nelson Mandela and our own Archbishop of York."
 
Mr Keal was amongst a group of Yorkshire Liberal Democrats who were on a visit to the European Parliament.
 
The Dalai Lama’s speech was special for Mr Keal and his wife Di Keal, also on the trip, as they had visited Dharamsala, home of the Tibetan leader in exile in India.
 
Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, who covers the Yorkshire and the Humber region, and is the vice president of the European Parliament, hosted the event.
 
The invasion of Tibet by China began in 1949 and the occupation by the invaders has led to death and destruction.
 
The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and political leader, fled Tibet in 1959 to India.
 
He has since been followed by over 100,000 Tibetans who have fled the Chinese invasion.
 
The Tibetan exiles have established the Tibetan Government in Exile to complain about the treatment of their country.
 
In 1989 the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his steadfast dedication to non-violence.
 
Mr Keal said the Tibetan leader claimed China lacked the moral authority required of a super power.
 
He said China had a bad record in relation to human rights and religious and press freedom.
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