His Holiness the Dalai Lama holding a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in London on May 14, 2012. (Photo/Clifford Shirley)
DHARAMSHALA, May 15: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday in London.
According to reports, both leaders expressed concern for the situation in Tibet and interest in other developments in China.
Although there are not many details available on the meeting, described by 10 Downing Street as “private,” sources say that the Dalai lama advised the British leader to stick to their principles without being deflected by short-term economic considerations.
His Holiness yesterday received the 2012 Templeton Prize and announced that he will give away the entire prize money of $1.7 million to charity.
“I always say I am nothing special,” the Dalai Lama said upon receiving the prize, the largest annual monetary award given to an individual. “Simply one of the seven billion human beings.”
Speaking to reporters before the award ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral, the Dalai Lama said China is beset by a moral crisis, widespread corruption and lawlessness, leading millions of Chinese to seek solace in Buddhism.
"Look at China now, the moral crisis, corruption - immense," he said, adding that millions of young Chinese were showing an interest in spirituality.
"Tibetan Buddhist culture I think (is of) immense benefit to millions of Chinese who are really passing through a difficult period like that," the exile Tibetan leader said.
The Dalai Lama also warned British people against feeling "hopeless" and "helpless" in the face of economic troubles and revealed that he wrote to David Cameron following last August riots to express his "condolences".
Later, while receiving the prize, the Dalai Lama said that he was shocked over the riots in London and other towns across Britain last summer.
"I have the idea of Englishmen as mature, sensible, law-abiding people, If (riots) happen in England, it is a shock," he said.
"I sent a letter to the prime minister in which I expressed sadness and urged to him to think about the causes of the riots," he added.
The root cause for the riots, according to him was that the young were being "brought up to believe that life was just easy. Life is not easy. If you take for granted that life will be easy, then anger develops, frustration, and riots."