Dalai Lama gets honorary Canadian citizenship

IANS, June 26, 2006

DHARAMSALA, Himachal Pradesh (India) -- The Tibetan government-in-exile has welcomed the decision of the Canadian government to grant honorary citizenship to Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

A spokesman for the government-in-exile on Monday welcomed the decision of the Canadian government to honour their leader and said the Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit Canada in September this year.

The Canadian House of Commons last week reportedly unanimously passed the decision to grant honorary citizenship to the Dalai Lama for his contribution to world peace and non-violence.

Prior to this the Canadian parliament has bestowed this honour on South Africa's Nelson Mandela and Hungarian leader Raoul Wallenberg who saved the lives of thousands of Jews.

The Dalai Lama is holding a weeklong talk here for his followers from across the world on the Buddhist way of life.

He is delivering the sermon, "Bodhisattva's Way of Life", at the request of Taiwanese University as some 300 students have come to attend the talk from Taiwan.

Hundreds of his followers were also seen attending the talk that began on Sunday. "The Bodhisattva responds with compassion even to an enemy," the Dalai Lama told his audience.

"Those children who grow up in compassionate families become mature and balanced adults," he added.

The Dalai Lama has recently returned from his visit to Petra in Jordan where the Nobel laureate had gone to attend a conference, a spokesman of the Tibetan government in exile said.

The Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers fled Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese Communist regime in 1959.

He was later awarded the Noble peace prize. The Tibetan government in exile is based in Dharamsala in the northern Indian hill state of Himachal Pradesh, with some 100,000 Tibetan refugees living in the country.