Dalai Lama Expresses 'Real Admiration' for The Lady

By Saw Yan Naing 21 June 2012

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, has praised Aung San Suu Kyi’s non-violent struggle for democracy, saying that he has “real admiration” for The Lady.

The two Nobel Peace Prize laureates met on Tuesday in London where they talked for half an hour.

“I have real admiration for your courage. I am very happy we’ve been able to meet,” Dalai Lama told Suu Kyi during their meeting. He also told Suu Kyi that he looked forward to meeting her again in the future, according to a report posted on the Dalai Lama’s website.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader told Suu Kyi that just as her late father had shown great dedication, he was confident that she too would be of great service to humanity, and wished her every success in fulfilling her goals.

The New York Times called the Dalai Lama the first leader of Tibet “to become a world leader, even without a political base—just on his moral force.” He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 while Suu Kyi won the prize in 1991.

Similar to Suu Kyi’s policy, the Dalai Lama renounces all violence and considers even hunger strikes and economic sanctions illegitimate means of political protest, even as the Tibetan community becomes more vocal in its protest of Chinese rule.

His meeting with Suu Kyi coincided with Suu Kyi’s 67th birthday in England as she made her first visit to Europe in 24 years. Suu Kyi spent more than 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest and was released on Nov. 13, 2010.

It was the first meeting of the two Nobel laureates who both stand for a great majority of the people in their respective nations. But while Suu Kyi was locked up under house arrest, the Dalai Lama was forced to live in exile.

During his time in London, the Dalai Lama visited the University of Westminster in London where he had been invited to give a lecture on the Values of Democracy and Tibet.

In his lecture, the Dalai Lama said, “The 21st century is still young. There are almost 90 years to go, so we still have an opportunity to work to create a new, better world.

“Look at India and China, both have huge populations, but the difference is that India is a democracy with a functioning judiciary, a country where there is freedom of speech and a free press,” he added.

When Chinese troops invaded Tibet in 1950, the Dalai Lama was 15, and was called upon to assume full powers as head of state. After the Tibetan civilian uprising was brutally suppressed in 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India and set his base at Dharamsala, a town in the Himalayan foothills which has served as the capital of the Tibetan exile community since 1960.

In 1988, Suu Kyi who previously lived in England, went back to Burma to nurse her sick mother at a time when instability reigned in Burma. After she was swept up in the pro-democracy movement she never again saw the cobbled streets of Oxford or the green pastures of southern England. Until this week.

It was the first time in 24 years that she had reunited with her old friends in Oxford. Suu Kyi also paid a poignant first visit to the grave of her husband on Wednesday.