Dalai Lama urges happiness and peace at Glastonbury

28th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Dalai Lama made his first appearance at Glastonbury on Sunday, spending an hour in the rain addressing festival-goers on how the world could be a happier place.

The Tibetan spiritual leader called for a more "holistic education" from kindergarten to university, which "should bring a sense of care" and help "promote human love".

"Everyone has the right to achieve a happy life," he told hundreds gathered at the Greenfield site, an area of calm away from the madness of the main music stages.

The elderly Buddhist monk hailed the "full joy" of the revellers present, and got into the spirit himself by wearing a Glastonbury t-shirt on his head against the rain.

He was treated to a rendition of "Happy Birthday" by the crowd in honour of his 80th year, and urged them to "think seriously about how to create a happy world, a happy 21st century -- that's the best gift for me".

The Nobel peace prize winner expressed dismay at ongoing violence in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere, saying it was "our own creation" and warning: "The killing of human beings by human beings is the worse thing."

Arriving at London's Heathrow airport on Saturday, he had expressed horror at the previous day's attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France.

"All major world religious traditions are actually I think the source of the practice of love, forgiveness, tolerance. That very factor is now becoming the source of violence, it's unthinkable," he said.

China has criticised Glastonbury organisers for inviting the Dalai Lama to speak, saying they were offering him a platform for what it calls his "separatist activities".

The Dalai Lama says he supports "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet rather than outright independence, but Beijing often denounces officials who meet him.

The elderly monk will also speak to supporters on Monday in the southern English army base town of Aldershot, which has a large Nepalese Buddhist community made up mainly of serving and retired Gurkha soldiers.

A small protest is planned by members of the International Shugden Community, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism that reveres a deity denounced by the Dalai Lama since 1996.


© 2015 AFP

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