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19estoniadalailamaHelsinki: - The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Helsinki, capital of Finland, Thursday afternoon following a successful two-day visit to Estonia.

His Holiness' main programme for the day was to address a meeting this morning at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. The programme at the academy began with the presentation of the Honorary Doctorate of the University of Tartu to His Holiness by Prof. Alar Karis, the Rector of the University of Tartu.

The Honorary Doctorate was awarded to His Holiness in 2005 and this has been the first opportunity for the University of Tartu, based in southern Estonia, to present the award to His Holiness. Following the presentation, His Holiness spoke to the assembled audience of scientists, politicians including 5 Ministers from the Estonian government, and other prominent Estonians on the theme of "Buddhism and Science".

His Holiness then responded to questions from the audience as well as taking part in a discussion on the theme of the meeting with contributions from the President of the Academy of Sciences, Professor Richard Villems.

His Holiness then attended a lunch hosted by the Estonian Institute of Buddhism. His Holiness bid farewell to Director of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism Mr. Sven Grünberg and the leader of the Estonian Parliamentary group for Tibet MP Mr Andres Herkel, the two hosts for the visit to Estonia prior to his departure for Finland in the early afternoon.

Upon arriving in Helsinki, His Holiness responded to a Finnish reporter's question on the purpose of his visit by saying that he had come to see his many old friends in the country again, to meet new friends, and for the promotion of universal values such as compassion and tolerance, as well as for the promotion of religious harmony and understanding among the world's major religious traditions.

His Holiness' two-day programme in Finland begins tomorrow morning and the visit is hosted by the Finnish Tibetan Cultural Association and Songtsen, a Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana Community in Finland.

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