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Dalai Lama, Tibet's political leader, has strived to make Tibet an independent and democratic state from China. He and his followers are exiled to India.
Dalai Lama - Ocean of Wisdom (1:09)
Watch a short video about Dalai Lama and find out how the Buddhist monk fights for Tibet's freedom.
As Gandhi became the leader in the struggle for Indian Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru sought to join his movement.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India. Yet his early life experiences couldn't foreshadow the fiery political life he would come to lead.
After working all his life for the freedom of India, Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister on August 15th, 1947.
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The plan proposed that Tibet would become a sanctuary where enlightened people can exist in peace and the environment can be preserved. In June 15, 1988, the Dalai Lama addressed members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. There he proposed talks between the Chinese and Tibetans that would lead to a self-governing democratic political entity for Tibet. The entity would be associated with the People's Republic of China,
and the Chinese government would be responsible for Tibet's foreign policy and defense.
In 1991, the Tibetan government-in-exile declared the Strasbourg Proposal invalid because of the current Chinese leadership's negative attitude toward the proposal.
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and in the tradition of Bodhisattva he has spent his life committed to benefiting humanity. He has written numerous books and conducted hundreds of conferences, lectures and workshops at major universities and institutions throughout the world, discussing engaging in wisdom, compassion and, more recently, environmental sustainability. Unlike his predecessors, the Dalai Lama has met with many Western leaders and has visited the United States, Europe, Russia, Latin America and many countries in Asia on a number of occasions.
Known as an effective public speaker, the Dalai Lama is often described as charismatic. His message is always one of peace and compassion for people all over the world. During his travels abroad, he has stressed the need for a better understanding of and respect among different faiths of the world. He has made numerous appearances at interfaith services and has met with several heads of other religions, including Pope John Paul II; Dr. Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury; Gordon B. Hinckley, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and Patriarch Alexius II, of the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts for the liberation of Tibet and his concern for global environmental problems. The Committee's citation stated, "The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people." In recent years, a number of Western universities and institutions have conferred peace awards and honorary doctorate degrees upon the Dalai Lama in recognition of his distinguished writings in Buddhist philosophy, as well as his outstanding leadership in the service of freedom and peace.
In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, unrest broke out in Tibet in anticipation of media attention and increased repression by the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama pleaded for calm and condemned Chinese violence. This was met with frustration by many in Tibet, who considered his comments ineffective, and allegations by the Chinese that the Dalai Lama incited the violence—an accusation that he strongly denies.
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When Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel died in 1896, he left his fortune to create an annual series of prizes for the individuals who confer "the greatest benefit on mankind." The most prestigious of the awards is the Nobel Peace Prize. Historians believe Alfred Nobel wanted to award people who work for peace to compensate for his own role in inventing dynamite. Since its establishment, the prize has gone to many courageous individuals who have fought for peace and human rights around the world.
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