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Dalai Lama with Marco Pannella | by dumplife (Mihai Romanciuc)
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Dalai Lama with Marco Pannella

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama.

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Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso' (born Llhamo Döndrub (Tibetan: ལ; Wylie: Lha-mo Don-'grub) 6 July 1935 in Qinghai [1]), is the 14th and current Dalai Lama.[2] The Dalai Lama is a revered spiritual leader among Tibetans and exerts a powerful influence over the the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. He is head of the Tibetan Government in Exile in Dharamsala, India[3][4][5] A Nobel Peace Prize laureate, he is also the world's best-known Buddhist monk.

 

Gyatso was the fifth of 16 children born to a farming family in the village of Taktser, Qinghai province [1] where he learned the Amdo dialect of Tibetan as his first language.[6][7] He was proclaimed the tulku (rebirth) of the thirteenth Dalai Lama two years after he was born. On 17 November 1950, at the age of fifteen, he was enthroned as Tibet's Dalai Lama, thus becoming Tibet's most important political ruler. This occurred only one month after the People's Liberation Army's invasion of Tibet.

 

After initially ratifying, under military pressure, the 1951 Seventeen Point Agreement, he left Tibet for India following the failed uprising and the collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement in 1959. In India he was active in establishing the Tibetan Government in Exile and in seeking to preserve Tibetan culture and education among the thousands of refugees who accompanied him.[8]

 

Tenzin Gyatso is described as a "charismatic" figure[6][9] and noted public speaker. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West. There, he has helped to spread Tibetan Buddhism and to promote the concepts of universal responsibility, secular ethics, and religious harmony. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989,[6][10] honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.[11] (from wikipedia)

 

Marco Pannella

 

Pannella was born at Teramo (Abruzzi) from an Italian father and a Swiss mother on May 2, 1930. He is member of the European Parliament and President of the Nonviolent Radical Party.

 

At the age of 20, Marco Pannella was a national representative at the university level for the Italian Liberal Party (PLI), member of the student association Unione goliardica Italiana (UGI) and at 23 he was President of the Unione nazionale degli studenti, UNURI (National Union of Students).

 

At 24 he promoted the foundation of the Partito Radicale (hereinafter the “Radical Party”). From 1960 to 1963, he was in Paris as a correspondent of the Italian newspaper “Il Giorno”. In his political career, Mr. Pannella co-founded a series of organizations such as the Italian league for divorce, the League for objection of conscience, the League for the abrogation of the Agreement between the Catholic Church and the Italian State (Concordato), the Centre of legal initiative “Pietro Calamandrei”, as well as the Italian Association for Demographic Education (AIED). He has been at the forefront of the promotion important reforms regarding narcotics, facing incarceration on various occasions for his civil disobediences. He played a prominent role in the pro-choice movement in Italy that led to the legalization of abortion in the early 1980s. He also promoted actions to grant electoral rights for Italians aged 18.

 

Engaged in the defence of civil rights in Eastern European countries, in 1968, he was arrested in Sofia for having distributed leaflets against the Communist regime. He is one of the first promoters and founders of the “Green” and “ecologist” political movements in Europe.

 

Over the years, he has been engaged in Italy in the defence of civil rights as well as against the public financing of political parties and against corruption of Italian politics. Since the 1970s, Mr. Pannella has promoted a series of referendums on themes ranging from social to political issues, in particular on those relating to the legality of the State, the rule of law and to the administration of justice.

 

Throughout the 1980s, he promoted international anti-prohibitionist campaigns on drugs and was one of the founders of the Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination (CORA) and of the International Antiprohibitionist League.

 

A believer in Gandhian nonviolence, Mr. Pannella has carried out several hunger strikes in Italy and elsewhere to defend civil rights and to end extermination through starvation the world over. Pannella is currently on a hunger stike, to protest against the death penalty. His strike was set off by the hanging of Saddam Hussein[1].

 

A disciple of Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi, Mr. Pannella was one of the first European Federalists and fought, through nonviolent means, for the creation of the European Union.

 

He was elected Secretary of the Radical Party in November 1981 and remained in office until November 1983. At the RP Congress in Budapest in 1989, he launched the creation of the Transnational Radical Party of which he became president of the Federal Council on that occasion.

 

He is honorary President of the Party of the Rom (ROI) in the Czech Republic and he is also honorary member of the Socialist Slovene Youth. The Jewish National Fund (Hebrew: קרן קימת לישראל, Keren Kayemet LeYisrael) dedicated him a reforestation area in the desert of Negev in Israel. (from Wikipedia)

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Taken on December 14, 2007