Dalai Lama ‘sadness’ over London riots, tells people money not route to happiness

17:08 14 May 2012

The Dalai Lama during a ceremony in St Paul

The Dalai Lama during a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral, London, where he received the 2012 Templeton Prize. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has expressed his “sadness and condolences” for last year’s London riots.

The exiled religious leader was speaking at a news conference at St Paul’s Cathedral.

He revealed that he wrote to David Cameron following last August’s violence.

“Recently there have been some problems in London and also some other countries,” he said.

“I always thought that Englishmen were mature people, sensible people and law-abiding people.

“If such things happen in some other developing countries - or different countries ... but in England...

“I immediately sent a letter to the Prime Minister expressing my sadness and my condolences.”

The Dalai Lama also warned British people against feeling “hopeless” and “helpless” in the face of economic difficulties.

He said the recession was made by man - not by God - and “every effort” must be made to tackle the difficulties.

“We need self-confidence, please do not feel helpless or hopeless,” he said.

During his news conference, the Dalai Lama said money and power fail to bring “inner peace”. He also warned against the “brainwashing” of people into believing that money is the “utmost source” of happiness.

“To simply show people that money is the utmost source of happiness is, I think, wrong,” he said.

The 76-year-old was speaking before he was due to receive the £1.1 million 2012 Templeton Prize in London for his engagement with science and people beyond his religious traditions.

He announced he was donating £934,000 of the prize money to Save the Children’s work with malnourished children in India.

He will donate £124,500 to the Mind and Life Institute, an organisation promoting collaboration between science and spirituality.

The remaining £46,702 of the prize money will be used for funding science education for student monks in Tibetan monastic universities.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said: “Save the Children is absolutely delighted. It is a huge honour to receive this humanitarian gift from the Dalai Lama.”

During his visit, the Dalai Lama met Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at 10 Downing Street.

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