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Dalai Lama Takes Message of Peace, Compassion to NY - 2003-09-16

The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet, has landed in New York for the final leg of a five-city United States tour.

Launching a five-day visit in New York, the Dalai Lama began his first day by meeting with reporters.

He reiterated his position of working with China toward a future for Tibet, instead of seeking Tibet's independence. He says he believes humanity wants peace, and that his teachings, along with the voices of the people, could contribute to peace in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"While we are shouting peace, we must show some mechanism to solve this problem and that is dialogue. Dialogue with sincerity and respect others' interest and respect others' well-being," he said.

The Dalai Lama has already made stops in San Francisco, Bloomington, Indiana, Washington DC and Boston. The last time he was in New York was four years ago.

He began his visit this time by reflecting on the September 11 terror attacks on the United States two years ago, which he called "very sad." The Dalai Lama also spoke about the recent blackout that cut power to 50 million people in North America. He said the crises led to improvements in New Yorkers' behavior.

"New Yorkers seem to be compassionate. Whether that will be long last or not I don't know," he said.

During his New York visit, he will spend time with his followers and will be a keynote speaker at a benefit concert.