Dalai Lama Appeals from Hiroshima for Nuclear Abolition

November 2nd 2006

Hiroshima, Japan, 1 Nov 2006 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama has appealed from Hiroshima -- the site of the world's first nuclear attack -- for the abolition of atomic weapons, saying he refused to be pessimistic.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader said he had not given up hope despite the recent proliferation of nuclear states, saying the legacy of Hiroshima still sent a strong warning of the horrors of nuclear weapons.

'The message from here to all the world is that nuclear weapons are terrible,' the Dalai Lama told a symposium of Nobel Peace laureates in the western Japanese city.

'There were two bombs, first in Hiroshima and then in Nagasaki, and I think that since then no one dares to use these awful weapons,' he said.

'These two cities really must send a strong message that these types of weapons sooner or later have to be eliminated.'

US nuclear bombs obliterated Hiroshima and the southern Japanese city of Nagasaki in the closing days of World War II, killing more than 210,000 people instantly or from horrific burns.

More states have turned nuclear in recent years, with communist North Korea last month saying it had tested its first atom bomb and Iran widely suspected of seeking a nuclear arsenal.

India -- where the Dalai Lama has lived in exile for close to five decades -- and Pakistan became declared nuclear states in 1998.

The 71-year-old monk said globalization should be a wake-up call on the need to think of humanity's future.

'Now national boundaries are not so important,' he said. 'The whole world is one entity, one body. That is the new reality.'

'I always tell people that we human beings, in a way because of this intelligence, are the biggest troublemaker. Yet because of this intelligence we also have the capacity to not only take care of ourselves but also to take care of the whole world,' he said.

'But if we neglect, then with the human population increasing and the gap between rich and poor increasing, the situation of the desperate will increase and there's every danger of more violence,' he said.

'With a vision, then a positive result may materialize.'

The Dalai Lama is on his 12th visit to Japan. China, which sent troops into Tibet in 1950, routinely opposes receptions for him overseas. 
 

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