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08february2011002222Dharamshala: The religious and political leader of Tibet His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on Monday (07 February) told a crowd that the 21st century is the century of dialogue and called for a worldwide campaign to resolve conflicts and problems through this dialogue. His Holiness said wars are fought to gain political power or out of economic interest, but also stressed that those in political power use religion to manipulate people.

Delivering a lecture on "Ethics for the new millennium" at D.D. Kosambi Festival of Ideas 2011 at the Kala Academy, Panaji, capital of India's Goa state, the Tibetan Nobel Laureate enthralled the audience with his spiritual discourse spanning over two hours. His message of love and compassion was laced with charm and humour. He referred to himself as India's ambassador, giving the world the message of 'ahimsa' [non-violence] and religious harmony.

In reply to a question of whether it would be wiser to discard all religions as they had today become a cause of discord and wars, His Holiness believes that the reason for wars all over the world is either power or economic interest and not religion, "War is fought either to gain more power or for economic interests. But, those in power use religion to manipulate people as it is an emotional issue." The Tibetan spiritual leader said while delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Ethics in New Millennium' on the third day of the 4th D D Kosambi Festival of Ideas, 2011 which is being held at the Kala Academy, Panaji, capital of Goa.

Analysing the problem of communal discord in societies, he referred to the growing situations where people developed attachments to religion without knowing the meaning of religious practices. His Holiness said: "When I develop attachment, my mind is biased. With a biased mind I can't see reality. This is the problem of any religious follower who sees his religion with attachment without understanding the meaning behind its practice."

His Holiness said as far as socio-economic theory was concerned, he was a Marxist. He criticised the Chinese Communist Party for forgetting the basic principle of self-criticism and accepting criticism. "The Chinese Communist Party is without communist ideology, and in reality, more capitalist than communist," he said.

The Tibetan leader said that transformation of India would not take place by mere pujas [prayers]. It would happen when people worked hard, and the rich provided the poor, especially those in rural areas, education and technological skills.His Holiness also said the gap between the rich and the poor was wide and to make India's economic growth more healthy, efforts should be made to reduce this gap.

On the state of affairs in India and China, His Holiness the Dalai Lama categorically stated that lack of democracy and free press were the biggest handicaps of China, and comparatively, India was much more stable because of democracy, an independent judiciary and a free media.

On the concept of ethics, he said compassion was the basis of ethics. "Never bring harm to others. That is the way to develop a kind attitude towards others. Through kindness, sincerity and honesty, you slowly build loyalty which is the basis to lead to some-level of ethics," His Holiness said.

Other speakers will include another great scientist and former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Indian-born British economist and intellectual Lord Meghnad Desai, Human Rights activist and former Judge of South Africa's Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs and Rajya Sabha MP, and Hindu leader and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr Karan Singh.

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