(TibetanReview.net, Oct20, 2017) – Human beings are not fundamentally negative, but are prone to be swayed by anger and fear, said Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, while addressing an international peace conference in Imphal, capital of India’s northeastern state of Manipur, on Oct 18. The global conference on ‘Peace and Harmony’ was organised by the Manipur state government and the Dalai Lama personally invited by Mr Y Khemchand Singh, Speaker of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
“We take such emotions for granted without realizing how destructive they can be,” he was quoted as saying. He has said many of the problems we faced today were of our own making and it was within us to solve them. In this connection he has suggested the formation of European Union-style unity among countries in different regions to end violence in the world during a press conference before the speech.
“I always feel that this (EU) spirit must bring in Africa to develop an African Union, then Latin American Union, then gradually Asian Union that means some kind of a union with India, China, Japan etc. Ultimately the whole world should be some kind of Union. That’s my dream,” he was quoted as saying.
The Dalai Lama has touched on a range of issues in his speech in the city convention center, including on developing compassion for others; the importance of harmony and respect among difference religious traditions; on the responsibility of the media to promote a positive outlook, not dwelling solely on negative stories; climate change, and so on.
Taking the example of climate change, the Dalai Lama has said it affected us all and that in today’s globalized world, communities and continents were interdependent and dialogue was needed to solve problems.
He has expressed regret that “our existing education system focuses on material goals such as money and power” and emphasized the relevance of “the ancient Indian understanding of mind and emotions” which “shows us how to develop inner peace, which is very relevant in today’s world.”
This was the Dalai Lama’s first visit to the state and his second to India’s northeast since April this year. His last visit to Arunachal Pradesh at that time sparked strong reaction from China, which asserts claims over it as southern Tibet.
Declared a state guest during his three-day visit, the Dalai Lama was earlier welcomed at Imphal airport by the state’s Chief Minister Mr N Biren Singh and Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand. He was then welcomed by the state’s Governor Dr Najma Heptullah in the Raj Bhavan, her official residence, where he was hosted a luncheon.
Those who attended the conference included many Buddhist monks, including from neighbouring Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries.
The local newspaper Sangal Express reported Oct 19 that the Dalai Lama won hearts with his unity and non-violence call. Many MLAs, as well as the state’s Chief Secretary RR Rashmi and other high ranking officials of the State Government were also present at the conference, the report said.
The Dalai Lama returned to Dharamshala on Oct 19.