By Tenzin Monlam
Richard Moore with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. File photo
DHARAMSHALA, June 15: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting Derry (also known as Londonderry) in Northern Ireland in September to take part in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Children in Crossfire, a charity run by his old friend Richard Moore who was Blinded by a rubber bullet shot by a British soldier in Derry as a boy of 10 in 1972.
Visiting on the Moore’s invitation, the Dalai Lama will be the guest of honor and the keynote speaker at the public talk at the Millennium Forum on the theme of ‘Compassion in Action’, which aims at encouraging people to be the change they want to see in the world.
“I am delighted and honored that our Patron, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has agreed to be the key note speaker at our 20th anniversary celebration. His message of compassion, forgiveness and peace is needed now more than ever,” said Richard in the official announcement.
“Our vision is to bring about a compassionate world where every child can reach his or her potential. We seek to nurture compassion as the core force for bringing about positive change,” said the director who is delighted to have the Tibetan spiritual leader join in the celebration.
The Dalai Lama’s last visit to Derry was in 2013. The Tibetan leader had taken part in the charity’s 10th anniversary in 2007 when the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader referred to Moore as his ‘hero’.
Richard had established the Derry-based NGO to help children from all over the world.
His Holiness and Richard first met October 2001 in Derry and since have met on several occasions during his four separate visits to Northern Ireland, in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2013.
Richard had visited Dharamshala in 2010 to meet the Dalai Lama who, at an event held at TCV school, had said, “Many of us would be mad in anger and animosity at the person who blinded us, even I might get bitter against the man but Richard has not had a tint of bitterness against Charles, which is very difficult especially as a child with no formal training in religious philosophies. That touched me deeply,” said the 1989 Nobel peace laureate, adding that people like Richard are truly deserving of Nobel peace prize.
At the same event, His Holiness honoured Richard with a Khata (traditional well-wishing scarf) and a citation which the Tibetan leader read himself to the audience that comprised mainly of children from 5 schools. Richard became one of the very few people in the world to receive citation of honour from the Dalai Lama himself. The only regret that Richard had after he was blinded was that he would never see his mother and father again, said the Dalai Lama.