The Dalai Lama delivers address in UK on ‘Ahimsa’

LONDON: The Dalai Lama has described himself as the “son of India” while delivering an address on ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence as India’s contribution to the world.

The Tibetan spiritual leader described himself as “son of India” during his address at the London Coliseum on ‘Ahimsa – India’s Contribution to the World’ yesterday.

“It is our active responsibility as a community to invite more people into the values of this tradition of ahimsa,” he said in his address to a 2,500-strong audience.

The talk formed part of the Dalai Lama’s nine-day visit to the UK which ends tomorrow.

The event yesterday was organised by Tibet House with the support of Nemu Chandaria, chairman of the Institute of Jainology.

Besides some unhappiness over the media management of the visit, the Dalai Lama was also met with protests by members of the International Shugden Community.

They accused the Dalai Lama of “hypocrisy and hiding human rights abuses” against Shugden Buddhists.

“The Dalai Lama has failed to address and resolve the human rights abuses and institutionalised religious persecution against Shugden Buddhists that stem directly from his own actions. It would be very easy for the Dalai Lama to resolve this issue. All we are asking is for him to write one single letter to the Tibetan communities,” said Sonam Lama, a Tibetan spokesperson for the community.

The special address for the Indian community was preceded by a talk on how to create a better world with ‘Action for Happiness’ at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday.

Last week, the Dalai Lama also visited Oxford and Cambridge to participate in a series of events with scholars, scientists, students and school children, hosted by Lord Rowan Williams at Cambridge.

Chonpel Tsering, Representative of the Dalai Lama in Northern Europe, said, “This is the second major visit by His Holiness to the UK in the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday year.”

“It brings together all of his core commitments — his focus on compassion; promotion of harmony among the world’s major religious traditions and the preservation of Tibet’s peaceful Buddhist culture,” he said.

“His interaction with leading thinkers at Oxford and Cambridge highlights His Holiness’ ground-breaking collaboration with scientists and scholars, while his dialogues with young people will inspire a new generation and begin an important conversation about the importance of training in compassion in education,” he added.

During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives. He has since travelled the world, advocating the welfare of Tibetans.

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