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Dalai Lama talks peace in Berkeley

April 25, 2009 7:40:36 PM PDT
The Dalai Lama made his third visit to UC Berkeley Saturday afternoon and spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Greek Theatre. He talked about peace, but also politics, reserving a few words for former president George W. Bush

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The Dalai Lama is 74-years-old but still full of energy. He took off his shoes and got very comfortable as he drew in thousands of people who went to the Greek Theatre to see him. It was as if he was having a one-on-one conversation.

"Peace through compassion," he said to the crowd.

The three words resonated loudly through the Greek Theatre as Tibet's spiritual leader addressed thousand.

"Young, bright generation? You are the real people, who really belong to this century," said the Dalai Lama. "You are the source of hope."

Hope, enlightenment and direction are all things people in attendance were looking for from the Dalai Lama. Tickets for Saturday's event went on sale March 11th and sold out in minutes.

"We came out at about 11 p.m. We had a big tent. We had a group of about 13 people and we camped out to get tickets to see the Dalai Lama " said student Sean Kodani.

"I'm thrilled to be here," Monica Naman told ABC 7.

To say those in the audience felt lucky to be there would be an understatement.

The last time the Dalai Lama spoke at Cal was ten years ago. Ten years ago, Tsetan Dolkar's family was still struggling in Tibet. On Saturday she and other Tibetans planned to meet with the Dalai Lama before he leaves the area.

"Whenever he comes here, he always advises us to be good human being and always tells us be happy and preserve our culture," Dolkar said.

Theirs is a culture that remains in the forefront for activists. While the Dalai Lama did not discuss China, the founder of Berkeley's Center for Developing Economies did.

"It's time that the Chinese leadership, if they want to become a great nation, they also need to become a moral nation," said UC Berkeley Board of Regents Member Richard Blum.

The Dalai Lama chose instead to focus on the world, mankind and even the U.S. The Dalai Lama described George W. Bush as "very straight forward," saying, "I feel some good quality of human being, not like great leader or politician."

The Dalai Lama was in Southern California Friday. He planned to stay in the Bay Area Saturday night and visit a San Francisco soup kitchen on Sunday.

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