(TibetanReview.net, Feb11, 2015) – The Dalai Lama on Feb 9 spoke to a gathering of 1800 students, including 500 from more than 100 countries, at the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway. The biennial international student festival, held since 1990, is the largest of its kind in the world and is organised by students at the University of Trondheim.
Speaking on the subject of ‘A Better Future Without Corruption’ – ‘corruption’ being the theme of ISFiT 2015 – the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet said modern education system tended to have materialistic goals without taking into account moral values.
Interjected by the moderator, Fredrik Græsvik, what he meant when he had previously said corruption was a form of violence, the Dalai Lama said “it violates the rights of ordinary people”. He referred to estimates that say that because of corruption barely half of allocated funds reach the projects they are intended. He also cited his Indian friends as saying India would have developed much quicker if there was less corruption.
The Dalai Lama said that if people had moral values and principles, there would be no corruption. He said that the Mind & Life Institute, which includes scientists and thinkers and with whom he had been working for almost 30 years, was working on an educational curriculum named a ‘Call to Care’ for this purpose.
The Dalai Lama also answered questions from the audience, including on the role of religion in combating corruption and in governance.
Asked what advice he had for the students from more than 100 countries sitting before him, the Dalai Lama advised that they pay attention to the oneness of humanity. He said, “The problems humanity faces affect us all, but if humanity is happy, we can all be happy.”
The Mayor of Trondheim, Rita Ottervik, came onto the stage to express her gratitude to the Dalai Lama who had previously participated in the ISFiT in 1994. ISFiT serves as a meeting place for discussion and debate, an arena where ideas are born, friendships made and valuable lessons learned.