Dalai Lama-Prince of Peace
THE BUSINESS OF PEACEMAKING–BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
I commend the U.S. Institute of Peace for organizing a two-day Peace Conclave in Dharamshala to give encouragement to 27 youth peace activists by directly meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I warmly congratulate these young participants for their efforts to promote Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the communities where they live.
Dalai Lama’s pep talk for young peacekeepers
The 14th Dalai Lama, a Tibetan spiritual leader, was self-deprecating and even playful to put his guests at ease, but peacemaking is serious business.
The Dalai Lama meets with young people in Dharamsala, India, in October 2018. (Photo: Rohini Das/U.S. Institute of Peace)
DHARAMSALA, India — For a few days this fall, more than two dozen educated and articulate young peacekeepers from some of the most dangerous countries in the world gathered at the feet of the Dalai Lama eager for solace, guidance and comfort.
They described experiences alien to anything that young Americans could understand: working to quell misery in places where governments are repressive, ethnic or tribal conflict is rife, or religious extremist groups such as the Islamic State or Boko Haram are savage.
One of them was Sulaiman Qauymi, 28, a journalist and co-founder of a conflict-resolution group in Afghanistan. “I’m living in a country where the people start the day talking about war, battle, conflict, suicide attack, terror and killing,” he told the Dalai Lama. “It’s a major topic of my life and my people each day until we go to bed.”
Su Su, 26, is a peace activist from strife-torn Myanmar. (She and a few others asked that their full names be withheld because of safety concerns.) “I want inspiration from you,” she told the 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama.
The U.S. Institute of Peace helped arrange the conclave in this nearly mile-high city in the foothills of the Himalayas. The theory was simple. The world-renowned spiritual leader who had led his Tibetan government into exile at age 24 six decades before, fleeing brutal Chinese communist aggression, could galvanize 27 youth leaders whose age averages 25.
I was one of a handful of older professionals invited to accompany the pilgrimage. The event lasted two days in a wood-paneled hall of the Dalai Lama’s residence as the young adults, against a backdrop of orchids and Buddha tapestries, implored the holy man for guidance.
He was attentive and generous with his time, at moments self-deprecating and even playful to put his guests at ease. He thrilled feminists in the room one morning with the revelation that a female Dalai Lama could certainly be a reality one day.
But as the hours passed and the youth leaders unburdened themselves, the Dalai Lama would almost sag under the weight of their frustrations and doubts about resolve.
Kode Kenaime, 27, a peace activist with twin graduate degrees from the Central African Republic, where Muslim-Christian violence has left thousands dead, talked of slain family members and “darkness in my mind, my heart (and) full feelings of revenge. It’s not easy for me, but I keep working as a peace-builder.”
Meron Kocho, 28, an activist and ethnic Yazidi from northern Iraq, said Islamic State fighters made refugees of his family, turned girls into sex slaves and conscripted boys as soldiers. “We saw so much hate that we started to hate,” he told the Dalai Lama.
An end to empathy
Wadi Ben-Hirki, who at 21 has earned awards for her work educating children, seeking to empower women, and pushing to end child marriage and genital mutilation in her native Nigeria, talked of becoming inured to the depredations of the notorious Boko Haram terror group. “I’m scared of not being able to empathize anymore because I’m used to the pain,” she said.
Others — Mohamed Ahmed, 22, co-founder of a peace group in Somalia; Dalia Anez, 26, a Venezuelan lawyer who trains human rights leaders; and Hayder Ghanimi, 28, who leads a peace workshop in Baghdad — questioned the feasibility of success.
“Have you ever lost hope?” Hayder asked.
The Dalai Lama steered them back to basics. The paths they have chosen to educate, to promote dialogue, to build peaceful coexistence is long and difficult. “I don’t expect some overnight change is possible,” the Dalai Lama told them, hearkening back to his many decades of struggle. “A peaceful world within my lifetime will not be achieved.”
They must be patient, he told them. And the antidote to feelings of anger or despair is the compassion and optimism that gave seed to their commitment to peace. “Optimism is the source of success,” he said. “Pessimism is the source of defeat.”
Is change possible? “Yes, 100 percent.”
It was a pep talk one could only pray would succeed. Harsh realities awaited the youth leaders back in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia; in Somalia, Nigeria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic; in Myanmar and Afghanistan; and in Venezuela and Colombia.
They seemed happy, fulfilled and inspired as they left Dharamsala and the Dalai Lama.
They were, without question, inspiring.
Gregg Zoroya is a USA TODAY editorial writer and author of “The Chosen Few: A Company of Paratroopers and Its Heroic Struggle to Survive in the Mountains of Afghanistan.” Follow him on Twitter: @greggzoroya
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA – PRINCE OF PEACE
The Great Fifth Dalai Lama founded the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet in 1642. The successive Dalai Lamas have headed Tibet for nearly four centuries. Institution of Dalai Lama is the central focus of Tibetan Cultural Identity and Tibetan National Character. Very often, news media stories refer to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as a Buddhist monk and ignore the fact that he was seated on a throne in a ceremonial function when he assumed the Office of the Dalai Lama. For that reason, I would like to categorically name him as “PRINCE OF PEACE” who is promoting peace in both Tibetan and International affairs.
PRINCE OF PEACE – BOOK OF ISAIAH, CHAPTER 9, VERSE #6
His Holiness The Dalai Lama was not born as a Prince. He was chosen by Tibetan tradition and custom to occupy position of The Dalai Lama which makes him as an exalted person clothed with authority. In Tibetan tradition, the Dalai Lama is a monarch or a King, a Leader who rules over Tibet with full public consent and the political institution of the Dalai Lama and his governance of Tibet is a system of government approved by Social Contract.
The Dalai Lama as Prince of Peace will ease the burden of Yoke imposed by Red China’s oppressive occupation of Tibet.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
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Top US official calls HH the Dalai Lama of Tibet “ambassador for peace”
Tibet: News International Top US official calls HH the Dalai Lama of Tibet “ambassador for peace”
TOP US OFFICIAL CALLS HH THE DALAI LAMA OF TIBET “AMBASSADOR FOR PEACE”
Monday, 27 July 2015 12:58 Yangchen Dolma, Tibet Post International
Washington DC — White House senior adviser praised His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and described him as “an ambassador for peace, for justice, and for nonviolence.”
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama made the following remarks at NATA’s event to honor His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to the monks and the people of Tibet, to the leaders and dignitaries and incredible performers who are here today, and to all of you, gathered in this amazing room, good afternoon.
And what an amazing afternoon it is. It is an honor to be among so many friends of His Holiness as we celebrate his extraordinary life of a man that we all admire and respect. I come here today on behalf of President Barack Obama, to convey the birthday wishes of the American people to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There are very few individuals that have a truly global presence, and even fewer who have used that presence to make such a powerful and positive contribution to humanity.
Both through his words and importantly his deeds, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has become an ambassador for peace, for justice, and for nonviolence. He has inspired us all to speak up for the dignity of every human being, and he has been unwavering in his conviction that there is most certainly more that unifies us than could possibly divide us. In this sense, he is a man for this moment: at a time when voices of intolerance seek to sow division along religious and racial and ethnic lines, the Dalai Lama serves as a powerful counterweight, for he is a uniter. His teachings challenge us to promote religious harmony among all faiths and traditions, and the unwavering persistence of his message of compassion serves as a moral compass for all of us during this extraordinarily challenging time in our world’s history.
But the Dalai Lama is not a billboard who merely looks good from a distance. I know this from personal experience that I am humbled to say. I had the incredible opportunity of visiting His Holiness in Dharamsala back in 2009. I spent time at his private residence and I visited the community that has thrived under his spiritual leadership in exile for 56 years. The Dalai Lama and I discussed the importance of a lifelong commitment to giving voice to the voiceless, and by the example he has set, he truly gave me a renewed strength to never lose sight of our collective and our individual responsibility to be unwavering forces for good.
I felt the profound connection between he and his many followers; I visited a monastery, I visited a school, I visited an orphanage—all that he had established. I saw the extraordinary efforts that he had undertaken to preserve the Tibetan religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions. And I will never, ever forget the joyful healthy children who I met who were being raised by loving and nurturing adults in an orphanage that is 54 years old. And, in fact, I discovered that many of the adults in the orphanage had been raised in that very same orphanage and were giving back to the children of today. After that amazing trip to Dharamsala, I returned to the United States and I told President Obama that His Holiness had changed my life, and I meant it.
Now, I hasten to add that later His Holiness said to the President that he thought I was exaggerating when I said that, but I was not. He truly changed my life. And each time our paths have crossed since that very first visit to Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama has touched my heart, and has been an ongoing source of deep and true inspiration for me as I know he is for all of you.
On a personal note, I just want to say publicly what I hope you know privately, which is: I treasure you, and I am humbled, deeply humbled, to be able to call you my friend.
And so today, as we join here and so many people around the world in celebration of an extraordinary life of this great leader, a good and a decent man, a compassionate and honest man, a spiritual and intellectual man, a man, I hasten to say, with amazing grace.
And so I close the way I began, which is to say to you on behalf of President Barack Obama, I wish you Sir, a continued health, and strength, and vigor, for at least until you reach the age of a hundred and twenty. Thank you very much.”
Last Updated ( Monday, 27 July 2015 13:04 )
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