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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama

VOA News:

Tibetan Buddhists in many countries are celebrating the seventieth birthday of their spiritual leader, the fourteenth Dalai Lama. But in the Tibetan region of China, such celebrations are outlawed. Born in 1935, in the village of Taktser in northeastern Tibet, Lhamo Dhondrub was recognized at the age of two as the Dalai Lama. This Buddhist monk was forced into exile in 1959, when Chinese troops occupied Tibet. “Most of my life has been spent as a refugee,” says the Dalai Lama. “During this time,” he says, “the most difficult and saddest thing has been hearing endless stories about the suffering of our Tibetan people inside Tibet. . . imprisonment, death by hunger and so on – endless stories of suffering and torture.” An outspoken advocate of human rights, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1989. He said he accepted the award on behalf of the Tibetan people, who “confront a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities.”
The Dalai Lama is someone who I genuinely admire. I certainly don't agree with everything he says, but his genuine faith and courage and worthy of respect. Happy Birthday.


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