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Dalai Lama arrives for 'final' Sweden visit

TT/Rebecca Martin · 15 Apr 2011, 11:43

Published: 15 Apr 2011 11:43 GMT+02:00

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Happy but tired he faced the waiting press.

“I am very pleased to be here, but today I have been unlucky,” he said about the delay, according to the TT news agency.

Usually, he told the waiting journalists, he retires to bed at 7pm in order to rise for morning prayers at 4am.

When asked if he thought he’d ever be able to return to Tibet, the Dalai Lama said he thought the times and the situation were changing.

“I don’t expect to be able to return within a few months but I am looking optimistically at the future. Intellectuals among the Chinese have written critical articles against China’s Tibet policies and are aware that the people are oppressed,“ he said to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

He also added that there have been positive indications from the Chinese prime minister.

“Though some still see me as a demon,” he laughed, putting two fingers to his forehead to signify horns.

At the age of 76 the Dalai Lama feels that it is high time to retire.

"I think it is time for a change. I will freely end this 400-year-old tradition," the Dalai Lama told the newspaper, referring to the long-standing custom of the Dalai Lama remain the leader of Tibetan Buddhism until his death.

He added that he only wants to be the spiritual leader of a democratic and independent Tibet.

The Dalai Lama is the highest leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He has been in exile from Tibet since 1959. This is his tenth official visit to Sweden. Considering his plans to retire, it may also be the last.

Story continues below…

While in Stockholm he is planning to visit the Nobel Museum, hold a speech at Södertörn University College and attend a meeting organised by Swedish aid organisation Individuell Människohjälp (IM).

The Lama has been invited to Sweden by the organisation whose chairperson, Håkan E Wilhelmsson, is also the dean of Lund Cathedral, where the Dalai Lama will speak on 16 April.

IM has had a long cooperation with the Dalai Lama, ever since they offered him support after his flight from Tibet after the invasion by Chinese forces in the end of the 1950s.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:39 April 15, 2011 by glamshek
So now Sweden wants to support anti-Chinese. What else can one expect from the cronies of USA ? Why doesn't Sweden bring Bahrain news in the spotlight and the Saudi news ? Israel, Saudia, USA are the damned axis of evil
14:23 April 15, 2011 by apelsin000
As a being, he surely has the right to travel wherever welcomes him, however i dislike him because he is very pretending and dishonest. I even doubt his emotion to the Tibetans, as he did things for no one but himself and the CIA. He just uses them and their superstition as a tool when he had them. He is a politician rather than the Buddhist he always pretends.
16:42 April 15, 2011 by lake
I've been to his lecture today. He seems to have broad knowledge and also be open-minded, which I appreciate. He said the former leader of China Mao Zhedong was spoiled by too much power, which I think is true. He said India is model for showing different religious live together in perfect harmony, which I think may not be true. He said he is not aiming to achieve Tibet independence but Autonomy, which may also not be true because as I heard the published "constitution" of exile Tibet government under his lead state that they aim to have independence.

The last senstance of this report is wrong and mis-leading. Tibet was part of China long time before the communist party came into power. "invade" is not for military action within the same country.
20:24 April 15, 2011 by lake
some more info. the 1st quesion Dalai Lama was asked was his oppinion aobut the current situation in north Africa, and is any non-violent ways to achieve better human rights. He didn't give direct answer, but said according to belief of buddhist, violence is more about intension and aim. If a mother blame his child using hard words or even physical punishment with good intensions, that's love not violence. If somebody cheat somebody else with good words, or giving gifts, that's violence. I agree with both cases. However in the context of being asked about currect north Africa, for me at least, he is implying that the US and French are just teaching the Libya with bombs and good intentions, that's not violence. Obviously he is appealing the western media and defend the justice of killing. This kind idea sounds really suspecious for me, and I wonder if it's truely buddhist spirit.
01:38 April 16, 2011 by jbat
Agree with Lake...

glamshek.. stop talking nonsense!

By allowing this Dalai Lama to visit Sweden doesn't mean Sweden supporting anti-China government. Its stupid conclusion!

Same with your other comments... I am so sorry to say this but it is very clear that your level of education is not good enough to for you to make good comment on public (or you will make situation worse! or unless you are a TROLL! and intentionally want to make it worse!)
11:05 April 16, 2011 by Lauraj
Did not realise there were so many chinese reading The Local.
13:17 April 16, 2011 by mba0021
It seems not wise to support so-called ant-chinese as China is rising towards a superpower.
18:32 April 18, 2011 by wenddiver
Buddhism kind of set Tibbett up to be taken over by violent Chinese Communism. They should have had a defence system set up like Switzerland, instead of rellying on the outrage of thr Free World
08:32 April 20, 2011 by No Haram Done
Funny, Buddhism once prevailed from Afghanistan to China to the Celebes Islands!

It was Islam that reduced it to the Tibetan Plateau & the Chittagong Hills, almost SNUFFING it out!
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