Los Angeles: Tibet`s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama suggested that killing of Osama bin Laden by US was justified, a report said on Wednesday, although his office sought to clarify the remarks.
Asked about bin Laden`s death at an event Tuesday in Los Angeles, where the Buddhist leader was at the start of a trip to five US states, he said the al Qaeda chief may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness.
But, cited by the LA Times, he said: "Forgiveness doesn`t mean forget what happened. If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter measures, you have to take counter-measures."
The Tibetan spiritual leader did not broach the bin Laden question during two further events on Wednesday, but a summary of his comments posted a day later on his website, sought to clarify his remarks.
"The first question was on His Holiness` emphasis on compassion as a basis of ethics. It asked whether in some situation ensuring justice is more important than being compassionate to the perpetrator of a crime," it said.
"It referred to the news of the death of Osama bin Laden and the celebrations of it by some, and asked where compassion fit in with this and ethics.
In response he "emphasized the need to find a distinction between the action and the actor. He said in the case of bin Laden, his action was of course destructive and the September 11 events killed thousands of people.
"So his action must be brought to justice... But with the actor we must have compassion and a sense of concern... His Holiness said therefore the counter measure, no matter what form it takes, has to be compassionate action."
The 75-year-old spiritual leader, who delayed his arrival here to recover from illness while in Japan, was on his first trip to the US since announcing his decision in March to resign from politics.
The Nobel laureate, who will retain the more significant role of Tibet`s spiritual leader, has stressed he was still "fully committed" to the struggle against authoritarian Chinese rule in Tibet.
Beijing continues to brand the Dalai Lama a "splittist" and subjects him to virulent public attacks.