His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the 33rd World Congress of the International Association of Religious Freedom in Kochi, India, on September 4th, 2010. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Kochi, Kerala, India, 5 September 2010 - Kochi, the city, which has been home to multiple ethnic groups from across the world, accorded a warm welcome to Dalai Lama, the apostle of peace, on Saturday.
On his arrival at the Cochin International Airport and later at the Taj Gateway Hotel in Kochi, hundreds of people, including Tibetans, were eagerly waiting for his arrival.
Tibetans, who have settled in Kochi, mainly traders, rushed to the Gateway to see their spiritual leader. They, in their traditional dresses, received him by offering Khatha - a shawl offered by Tibetans to honour distinguished guests.
A large number of Tibetans, including children were present at the function. After a brief interaction with mediapersons waiting outside, he went inside the hotel.
There, he blessed his followers. “It is after a long time that I met the Dalai Lama. I am really happy that I could see him today,” Dorjee, a citizen of Tibet who came to Kochi years ago, said. The state police gave a guard of honour to the esteemed guest.
At the venue of the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom, the Dalai Lama was accorded a traditional reception. The programmes at the venue started with a performance by the members of Japan Yoga Association.
The prayers of 12 religions were chanted prior to the beginning of the programme.
The Dalai Lama’s love towards God’s Own Country was evident in his words.
Inaugurating the 33rd World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom, in Kochi on Saturday, the Dalai Lama said we could understand others' problems only through dialogue which may open the doors of compromise.
The gap between the rich and poor is widening, he said. The situation is the same in the ‘Socialist China’ and the USA, the world’s richest country.
“This is the reason for the increasing number of crime across the world. The growing gap between the rich and the poor causes frustration, which, in turn, leads to anger and violence. So, we will have to address the issue soon,” the Dalai Lama said.
People go after science and technology as it immediately fulfils their wishes, the Dalai Lama said. But science and technology can only fulfill physical wishes. It is the same science and technology that caused the death of over 200 million people thanks to nuclear weapons, he said.
Many people think that love and compassion are associated only with religion, but these are human values that are to be upheld by mankind.
Generally, education focuses only on the development of the brain while “neglecting the heart totally”.
We should inculcate values in children through education. Violence is the symptom of weakness, he said.
On the problems faced by the Sri Lankan Tamils, he said that it was a political issue which has its root dating back to centuries. The only solution to the issues between these two groups is to live side by side, the Tibetan spiritual leader said.
Sukumar Azheekkode, Dominic Presentation MLA, Kochi Mayor Mercy Williams, Shivaratri Deshikendra Mahaswamigalu, head of Suttur Matt, Mysore, and IA RF president Thomas Mathew spoke.