By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the dialogue forum at his residence in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala on Nov. 6, 2017. Phayul photo.
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 6: The room brimmed with a shade of reconciliation and hope when the delegate from conflict-ridden backgrounds met with the Nobel peace prizewinner and global poster boy for peace, His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier today.
The 82 year old said that despite the grim situations that plague the world, “staying demoralized is not the human way. Us humans, with our intelligence must look to find solutions with optimism and realistic approach”.
“I am a Buddhist monk and I engage in praying and meditation for a few hours everyday but only praying to Buddha, Allah or god is not the answer. There is a sound basis to develop optimism through awareness, human intelligence and analysis and looking at a crisis from a holistic point of view and push through for a more compassionate world,” the Tibetan leader urged the delegates.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama engaging with the youth delegates of USIP at McLeod Ganj on Nov. 6, 2017. Phayul photo: T Dharpo
1The 25 youths from 15 different countries such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, Tunisia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were brought together by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a non-partisan federal institution based in Washington DC, on a two-day dialogue forum with the Dalai Lama beginning Monday.
The participants, many of whom had first hand experience of violence and conflict back in their homes, shared stories from struggles such as the aftermaths of Sudan’s political division, the ongoing Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis, Boko Haram exploits and war ravaged Afghanistan that constitute the most recent memories of conflicts in the current world.
The Dalai Lama lauded the courage and resolve of the youths who chose peace and reconciliation when violence could have been reactionary and in some cases an easy option. He said that through education and the collective effort to shore up against age-old orthodoxy such as feudalism and so-called traditions, the problems could be gradually overcome.
“In my own case, earlier the Dalai Lama’s institution was the spiritual as well as the temporal head of Tibet. With changing times, I voluntarily and proudly gave up the authority to an elected leadership and broke a four hundred year old practice for the good of the Tibetan people,” the egalitarian leader said.
The dialogue forum will conclude tomorrow followed by a luncheon hosted by the Tibetan leader for the delegates.