The Dalai Lama in Manchester

The Dalai Lama is due to speak in Manchester.

This is what it said in the Metro of Friday the 1st of June

The Dalai Lama returns to Britain this month with the aim of inspiring young people. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who said he was saddened by last Summer’s riots across Britain will speak to youngsters at a free evening in Manchester on June 16th. Thubten Samdup, the Dalai Lama’s Northern Europe representative told Metro he would try to engage young people “in the inner City, the under-privileged & those who need a positive message that there is hope & they have the power to change themselves. A lot of young people can relate to him – he’s one of the few individuals left who really practises what he preaches.”

With his great moral authority the Dalai Lama is a beacon & an inspiration for many. It is a surprise. He seems an unlikely person to lead the way in moral regeneration. He is not young or hip or European. He dresses in a monk’s outfit. His English is good but not perfect.

The Dalai Lama used to be both the spiritual leader & the political leader of the Tibetans. In 1959 he left Tibet, walking over the mountains & into exile. Tibetans in exile are in Dharamsala. The monastic community resides there.

In 1959, The Chinese had invaded Tibet. I remember it well. I was 13 at the time. The Dalai Lama & Tibet seemed like a strange & exotic place. The Chinese invasion was in some ways a continuation of World War II which had seen so much violence & much of China invaded & occupied by the Japanese.

Over the years, we in the West have grown to know & love the Dalai Lama. There have been several TV programmes about him & his face & his infectious laugh have become familiar.

If young people in the UK listen to him, that is for the good.

This is me with Thubten Samdup, the Tibetan representative mentioned in the Metro.

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