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HHDL-England-2012Manchester: The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama Saturday, June 16 hosted a free event for anyone under 25, in Manchester, aimed at inspiring the next generation to make an impact. The talk, entitled 'Stand up and be the change', covered many topics ranging from forgiveness to truth.

The event was compered by controversial British comedian, Russell Brand, which had raised many concerns prior to the event. Mr Brand, well known for his drug addiction and sexual exploits, shrugged off the sceptics and provided humour and intellect in a side of Russell Brand not many people of the world have seen.

There were videos provided by Rigoberta Menchú and Desmond Tutu, two fellow Nobel Peace Laureates as well as a collection of short clips provided by celebrities reiterating the theme of the address, to be the change.

The Dalai Lama began this series of addresses under the title of, Century of Dialogue, in Manchester because of what he and his officials had seen following the riots that took place in the town last summer. He stated that the clean up by people of similar of age to those who had caused so much devastation was very moving.

His Holiness reiterated his retirement from political aspects of Tibet and slowing down of his attendance at events, "The 21st Century belongs to you".

"My generation belongs to the 20th Century, it has already gone so my generation are ready to say bye bye,” he added.

Jack Ellis, a 18 year old student from Manchester told TPI, “I hadn’t heard about Tibet or the Dalai Lama before today, it was a free event so I thought I should come”.

Adding, “I brought one of his books at the end and took a lot of what he said to heart, it was powerful stuff”.

The talk was aimed at the under 25 years olds and His Holiness referred in part to his experiences from when he was of a similar age to those he was addressing, "At the age of 16 I lost my freedom. At the age of 24 I lost my own country. During these 50 or 60 years I have faced a lot of problems but I never give up hope. Hope based on truth, hope based on reason."

Russell Brand, who has been a long-term supporter of the Tibetan cause, concluded the talk by thanking His Holiness, "I have found it very inspiring and helpful," he said. "We need to look within ourselves."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also address young audiences at the University of Westminster, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Edinburgh Usher Hall, Caird Hall in Dundee and the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness during his 10-day tour of Britain.

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