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Leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Finland welcomes the Dalia Lama

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  • Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
    Finnish religious leaders, intellectuals embrace His Holiness message Office of Tibet, London[Monday, October 02, 2006 10:12] Report by Tsering Tashi (Office
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2006
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      Finnish religious leaders, intellectuals embrace His Holiness'
      Office of Tibet, London[Monday, October 02, 2006 10:12]
      Report by Tsering Tashi
      (Office of Tibet, London)

      HELSINKI, October 1 - The Leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in
      Finland today warmly welcomed and thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama
      for taking part in the inter-faith meeting that he had arranged today
      here at the Palace Hotel conference hall with leaders of the
      Christian churches, intellectuals and business executives. In his
      concluding remarks before the end of the meeting, the Metropolita or
      Archbishop Ambrosius said they would bear in mind the importance that
      His Holiness gives to warm heart, unbiased compassion and Tibet.

      Bishop Eero Huovinen of the Lutherian Church in Helsinki, Liisa
      Jaakonsaari, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Finnish
      Parliament, Judge Antti Heikinheimo and Kari Raivio, the Chancellor
      of the University in Helsinki also attended the meeting among others.

      The meeting was reported during the primetime 10 pm TV news today.
      When asked why the Finnish Parliament failed to invite His Holiness
      the Dalai Lama to address the parliament, when the European
      Parliament and other parliaments have done so, the Chairman of the
      Foreign Affairs Committee was shown as saying this time the schedule
      being difficult in future they could consider inviting His Holiness
      to address the Finnish Parliament. She also said the Tibetan demand
      for autonomy in a way is similar to the status of Finland under the
      erstwhile Soviet Union.

      At the meeting when a participant asked a question about Tibet, His
      Holiness explained that the Tibetan struggle is not merely political,
      it is the struggle about the preservation of a unique culture and
      heritage. He said even Tibetans who were Communists had joined the
      Tibetan struggle for freedom as they were against the Chinese rule.
      His Holiness said he was seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet to ensure
      the survival and preservation of Tibetan Buddhism, culture and the
      fragile environment of Tibet.

      His Holiness also told the distinguished gathering, some of whom had
      attended yesterday his sell-out public talk on A Human Approach to
      World Peace that all the major religions of the world had the same
      message of love, compassion and forgiveness. He said to promote
      interfaith harmony it was helpful if people from different religious
      background mix with each other. His Holiness also shared his
      experience of interactions with practitioners from the Christian and
      Islamic traditions.

      The Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate said that a peaceful society and a
      peaceful world is in the interest of everyone and therefore we must
      think about the environment and welfare of humanity as a whole
      because in this world of growing interdependence, the concept of
      national boundaries no longer seem to be relevant.

      Earlier in the morning His Holiness gave a basic introductory
      teaching on Buddhism to a largely Finnish audience at the request of
      the Finnish-Tibetan Cultural Association, which along with the
      Service Centre for Development Cooperation (KEPA) had also organised
      His Holiness' public talk. Prior to the teaching which was also
      attended by half a dozen Tibetan families living in Finland and some
      Vietnamese, His Holiness reiterated that it is always better for
      people to maintain one's traditional religion as sometimes changing a
      religion can bring confusion.

      The visit of His Holiness and the public talk that he gave yesterday
      received wide coverage especially in the Finnish TV and newspapers.
      The reports were accompanied by photos of His Holiness and background
      information relating to Tibet.

      "In general whether the people believed in Buddhism or not they all
      seem to have a lot of interest to see and hear His Holiness'message
      which was apparent from the large attendance at the public talk when
      the main hall was fully packed and the organisers had to arrange two
      different rooms so that people could see His Holiness on large video
      screens", said Mrs. Kesang Y. Takla, Representative of His Holiness
      the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, the Baltic States and Poland.

      Mrs. Takla said the public interest in attending His Holiness' talk
      and the teaching clearly indicated the success of the fulfillment of
      His Holiness' three declared commitments in life, namely promotion of
      human values, promotion of inter-religious harmony and working for

      Maatti Ojanpera feels His Holiness' visit to Finland has been
      successful in terms of good media coverage and bringing people

      "This visit of His Holiness is important because now many Tibetan
      Buddhist groups seem to have the willingness to work together and
      cooperate in practicing Tibetan Buddhism in this part of the world.
      His Holiness has also shown how close he is to the common people and
      has been very effective in conveying his message about warm heart,
      compassion and the Tibetan cause", said Mr. Ojanpera whose Finnish
      translation of His Holiness' book, The Universe In A Single Atom, can
      be seen prominently displayed from the window of book stands in


      Archbishop Ambrosius welcoming His Holiness to the inter-faith group
      meeting. To the right of Archbishop is Liisa Jaakonsaari, Chairman of
      the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Finnish Parliament and to the
      left is His Holiness' translator Geshe Dorje Damdul. Sitting on His
      Holiness' left is Kari Raivio, Chancellor of Helsinki University
      (Photo: Tsering Tashi)

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