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Dalai Lama. Wikipedia

Tight security at Dalai Lama lecture in Rotterdam

The widely announced lecture in Ahoy by the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Rotterdam drew a huge crowd this weekend. But hundreds of interested people had to wait patiently at the security gates to see him after he arrived from Stockholm.

Published: September 16, 2018, 1:02 pm

    Rotterdam

    The Dalai Lama, it seems, is even more protected than anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders. The exiled Tibetan leader spoke to the American actor Richard Gere, chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, about life in and outside of Tibet. Gere has been an avid supporter of the Dalai Lama.

    He then held a public lecture entitled “Why compassion is essential in a troubled world”. The whole program has been sold out and the Rotterdam metro was already packed with Dalai Lama-goers very early in the morning, Dutch media reported.

    The lecture by the Dalai Lama on Saturday began with a delay; the spiritual leader first took the time to speak in a separate hall in the Ahoy to about 4000 Tibetans from all over the world. It could just be the last time that he tours since he is now 83 years old. He has visited the Netherlands ten times: the first time was in 1973.

    The Dalai Lama is being trashed on social media because he recently told a Swedish audience that migrants should eventually return to their native countries to rebuild them after seeking temporary asylum in Europe because “Europe belongs to the Europeans”.

    After his statements went public, the Nobel Peace Prize winner – who is not white – was slammed as a “fascist”, a “bigot,” a “racist,” and a “white supremacist”.

    The Dalai Lama also addressed allegations about sexual abuse by Buddhist teachers. During his four-day visit to the Netherlands, he met with victims of sexual abuse allegedly committed by Buddhist teachers. In his televised comments on Saturday, he said: “I think the religious leaders should pay more attention.”

    Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, a representative of the Tibetan spiritual leader in Europe, told AFP that the Dalai Lama “has consistently denounced such irresponsible and unethical behavior”.

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