Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA, 11 May 2011 - On May 11th His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his program in Fayetteville in the state of Arkansas, by visiting the Mullins Library of the University of Arkansas where there was an exhibition of Tibetan artifacts, scroll paintings, photos (taken by photographer Sonam Zoksang) and a mandala of Avalokitesvara (bodhisattva of compassion), constructed by Tibetan monks from Drepung Loseling.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama takes part in a panel discussion "Turning Swords into Ploughshares: The Many Paths of Non-Violence" at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas on May 11, 2011. Photo/Russell Cothren|
His Holiness said that non-violence is basically related to action. Those of our action that are motivated by compassion are non-violence while those coming out of hate are violence.
|Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus, venue for events with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 11, 2011. Photo/Russell Cothren|
His Holiness also talked about his opposition to death sentence saying that it punishes the person and not the action. He said the real effective way would be to deal with the action. His Holiness said right from an early age, around 1945-46, when he learned about the death sentence from the Nuremberg Trials, he had been much saddened. He said that he was also a signatory to the campaign for abolition of the death sentence launched by Amnesty International.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses a small gathering during a break before his public talk at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas on May 11, 2011. Photo/Russell Cothren|
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama is presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Arkansas on May 11, 2011. Photo/Russell Cothren|
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during his public talk "Non-Violence in the New Century: The Way Forward." at the University of Arkansas on May 11, 2011.|
To a question whether he had learned to drive a car, His Holiness responded in the positive saying that there were three cars in Lhasa from the time of the 13th Dalai Lama and he had asked for these to be repaired (as they had been lying unused for a long time) by drivers who were brought from India. Once, at the age of 17 or 18, when the driver was not there he drove a car within his residential compound but had an accident when he closed his eyes to avoid a tree branch. Asked about the feeling of Tibetans in Tibet in not being able to see him there, His Holiness said that the ordinary Tibetans very much wanted him to return but that the intellectuals appreciate the fact that he was living in a free world. He said although a new generation of Tibetans had come up in Tibet the Tibetan spirit was very much strong.