Last week we had the fortune to meet Dalai Lama during his visit in Canada and hear his message about companion and change. Earlier, Hollywood actor and Tibetan Buddhist activist Richard Gere called on Canadian Prime Minister to meet the Dalai Lama in public.
The immensely popular 76-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, who fled his homeland in 1959, nine years after Chinese troops invaded the Himalayan plateau, also delivered a profound update about the resiliency of his people and the prospects of democratic change in China. Dalai Lama started his speech with “Canada belongs to the Canadian people, not to your party (or) other party.”
“For several years we have feared that the whole world could be blown up.” said Dalai Lama. “Human history never experienced that sort of thing, the 20th century became the century of violence, a century of bloodshed. According to some history, about 200 million people killed through violence”
On a question on taking up environmental concerns, Dalai Lama said from his own experience, in the early 1960s he had no idea of the meaning of ecology. Then after meeting scientists and ecologists, etc, he had developed real concern. He said education, including by the media, could help. He said the Rio summit more or less failed, while the Copenhagen summit failed because national interest was considered more important while global interest was not considered an emergency. That was a mistake, he said adding that global warming is a concern for everybody. So big nations should give priority to the global issue and then to their national issue. He, however, said now more and more people are seriously talking about these things, which was positive.
Asked about his views on the worldwide Occupy movement, Dalai Lama said basically there was the need to bring issues of concern to greater awareness of the general public, including leaders. If people remained silent, he said the concerned authorities might not pay attention. He recalled participating in a meeting in New Delhi, India on the difficulties of the poorer section of society during which some people were talking of a demonstration. He said at that time he had told them that if they organize well he might even join the demonstration for the poorer people.
Dalai Lama said the method should be non-violent as they will then have more sympathizers. He added that if the motivation was good, and the end was justified, but if the method was too negative then even sympathizers may feel disaffected and disillusioned.