Dalai Lama: Relations with China not improving
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The 14th Dalai Lama said in San Diego Wednesday that
China's muted response to his U.S. visit was not an indication the sour
relations that have forced him to live in exile were improving.
The Dalai Lama, named Tenzin Gyatso, visited UC San Diego to discuss
climate change and was set to appear at the University of San Diego to talk
about cultivating peace through justice.
Both public events were sold out, as was an address at San Diego State
University on Thursday, but all his speeches were being broadcast via the
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and a symbol of
independence from China. Because of the tensions, the 76-year-old lives in
exile in India.
Asked at a news conference before the UCSD event if a lack of protest
from the Chinese government over his visit to the United States meant relations
were improving, he said no. China, which considers Tibet to be a province, has
protested previous visits with U.S. government officials.
“The world belongs to humanity and each country belongs to its own
people, not rigid leaders,” the Dalai Lama told reporters.
The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner discussed climate change with UC San
Diego professors Veerabhadran Ramanathan and Richard Somerville before an
attentive audience of 4,200 at RIMAC Arena.
“This blue small planet is only our home, no other planet so far,” he
said. “This is our planet, our home. We have to take care of it.”
The Dalai Lama, who endeared himself to the audience by donning a “UCSD
Tritons” visor when he took the stage, also took questions from the
audience. One question was how society could shift its perspective from
conflict to cooperation.
“Big building, big house, a big car and big salary — that's the
meaning of life — no certainly not,” the Dalai Lama said, drawing applause.
Thursday's SDSU presentation will be on upholding ethics and compassion
in challenging times.
The Dalai Lama has asked the Chinese government to investigate the
deaths of more than 30 Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks and nuns, who have set
themselves on fire over the past year.
For info on tickets and live streaming broadcasts of the Dalai Lama's visit to San Diego, click here.