Dalai Lama Talks Compassion, Not Tibet

By: AP
By: AP

SEATTLE (AP) -- In his first public appearance since arriving for a five-day conference on compassion, the Dalai Lama made no mention of the situation in Tibet, instead welcoming what he said was a new scientific interest in human emotion.

Organizers say the Seeds of Compassion gathering is essentially nonpolitical, but co-founder Dan Kranzler alluded to Tibet, telling the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader on stage, "The world knows the truth."

The first event Friday, a dialogue between scientists and the Dalai Lama about early childhood development and compassion, went smoothly without any demonstrators on either side of the Tibet issue.

The Dalai Lama began his U.S. tour amid continuing turmoil in Tibet and loud protests accompanying the Olympic torch's passage to Beijing.

On Friday, the Olympic torch arrived in Buenos Aires in its only South American stop of its world tour. Police, security officials and fences kept protesters from the torch on its 8.5-mile route in the capital of Argentina.

The Dalai Lama's arrival in Seattle on Thursday was uneventful. He said he was saddened by what happened in San Francisco, where thousands of protesters prompted officials to make last-minute changes to the Olympic torch relay route, but he voiced support for nonviolent demonstrations.

The Tibetan leader again said he is not against China hosting the Olympic games.

He arrived for the session Friday morning under heavy security with police on foot, motorcycles and horses. The only demonstrator outside the gathering site held a sign reading, "Free Taiwan, then Tibet."

Organizers of the five-day Seeds of Compassion conference say the Dalai Lama's visit is expected to draw more than 150,000 people to dozens of workshops and events. An estimated 7,000 attended the opening session.

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