His Holiness the Dalai Lama answering a question from an 8 year old girl during his meeting with visitors from India and abroad at the Main Tibetan Temple courtyard in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 9, 2018. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

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Dharamshala, India — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Dharamshala Sunday for an eleven-day visit to Europe. In Europe, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit the two Baltic countries of Lithuania and Latvia.

The visit also aimed at a series of teachings and public talks, particularly in the promotion of human value, human affection, compassion, secular ethics, and religious harmony. His Holiness will be back in Dharamshala on June 20, 2018.

In Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer a talk on Human Values in Education in the morning of 13 June. The talk is organised by the University of Vilnius. The next day on 14 June, His Holiness will confer another public talk on The Art of Happiness in the morning. The talk is organised by House of Tibet (Vilnius) at the Siemens Arena.

From 16 – 18 June, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be in Riga, Latvia. In the mornings of 16 and 17 June, His Holiness will confer a teaching on Tsongkhapa’s In Praise of Dependent Origination (tendrel toepa) and Diamond Cutter Sutra (dorjee chodpa).

On 18 June, His Holiness will confer a Manjushree Empowerment (jamphelyang jenang). The teachings are jointly organised by Save Tibet Latvia, Save Tibet Foundation (Moscow) and Tibet Culture and Information Center (Moscow). All three teachings will be held at Skonto Hall in Riga.

According to his official website, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has three main commitments: the promotion of human values, religious harmony and understanding, and the preservation of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of peace and non-violence.

The Chinese Communist regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

In 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama along with thousands of others escaped to India, where he was given political asylum. The spiritual leader has set up a government and rebuilt monasteries where masters pass on their teachings to young monks. Tibetans in exile have succeeded in gradually rebuilding their monasteries, preserving their culture and restructuring their society and keeping it alive, in spite of the extremely difficult circumstances.

For his part, the Tibetan spiritual leader travels around the world spreading a message of Peace and Universal Responsibility. He believes that the common aim of all religions, an aim that everyone must try to find, is to foster tolerance, altruism and love. He retired from politics in 2011. But, as one among six million Tibetans, His Holiness said he will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.