Dalai Lama speaks to 30,000 in Toronto

The Tibetan spiritual leader says the attitudes toward war have changed.

Toronto: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama told a crowd of 30,000 at a baseball stadium in Toronto that attitudes toward war have changed.

The 75-year-old Buddhist leader who came to the city on a three-day visit noted that 200 million people were killed in war and violence in the 20th century.

The 21st century generations have a moral responsibility to build a happy, peaceful and compassionate world even though the beginning of the century was not a happy one, he said.

Wearing his trademark orange robe and a matching coloured baseball cap, the Dalai Lama said many people proudly joined World War I and II.

However, since the Vietnam War, people`s attitude towards war significantly changed. Giving two examples, he said many people around the world opposed Kosovo and Iraq Wars.

"Destruction of one part of the world is destruction of ourselves," the Tibetan leader told a packed Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto and stressed the need for developing a spirit of dialogue in the world on the basis of the fact that "others are just a part of ourselves."

"We must promote the concept of dialogue for a happy and peaceful century. Whenever we will see a problem, we should resolve it through dialogue," he said.

The Dalai Lama also touched on a range of issues including people`s desire for happiness, inner peace, global economy, environmental issues as well as the commonality of humanity.

On Saturday, he will inaugurate the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre in the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, and the following day his teachings are to be webcast live around the world for the first time.

Toronto is home to some 7,000 Tibetans. The Dalai Lama last visited the city in 2007. This is his fifth visit to Canada. Previously he visited Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has been living in exile in India since an uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet in 1959. The Chinese government considers him as a separatist and political troublemaker.

Bureau Report

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