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Dalai Lama Wraps Up 4-Day Visit to Vancouver - 2004-04-21

Exiled Tibetan Leader the Dalai Lama spoke at a conference in Vancouver, Tesday, along with fellow Nobel Peace Prize Winners Shirin Ebadi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. They agree that more freedom for journalists and increased education will create a more stable global climate.

Speaking on the subject of "balancing educating the mind with educating the heart," the 69-year-old Dalai Lama spirited the discussion by emphasizing that problems arise when a person only looks at a religion intellectually.

The conference wrapped up four days of events in Vancouver for the Buddhist monk, who will now travel to Ottawa and Toronto. He will meet with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin on "spiritual" issues, despite strong objections to the meeting from China.

The Dalai Lama feels proper education that includes traditional values will help create a better society, starting with young people. He says schools he helps run in India are failing to do this, but are still better than others in the area.

"Modern education plus our own traditional values, of course, Tibetans and other lessons, to which are best," he said. "Although the result not very satisfactory, but, still if you make comparison with students who come from our school and other schools, their way of thinking and behavior, some differences we notice."

2003 Nobel winner Shirin Ebadi of Iran told reporters that, for reforms to take place in hard-line Muslim countries, a free press is necessary. In its absence, she says media around the world need to report both the good and bad news from her homeland.

She feels that, in the United States, there is still censorship - hidden behind corporate politics and ulterior motives. Speaking through a translator, she said the American media is doing a poor job of reporting the atrocities in Iraq. If they were doing an adequate job the conflict would change.

"Do American newspapers actually publish the way and what's happening to American servicemen in Iraq, how it happens? No! Never? You know why? Because, if the American people realized that their children are being killed thousands of miles away from their home and in the way that they are being killed, they will be up in arms against this war," she said.

The Dalai Lama also spoke to local media and held two sold-out public lectures. He will continue his cross-Canada trip for another 15 days.