Dalai Lama to hand out altruism prize

The Dalai Lama outside the Usher Hall in 2004
The Dalai Lama outside the Usher Hall in 2004
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THE Dalai Lama is to personally present a new award to a young person from the Lothians who has shown outstanding compassion and altruism.

The Evening News is joining with organisers of the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Capital next month to invite entries for the Youth Compassion Award.

It is open to those between the ages of ten and 24 who have demonstrated the power of compassion to help transform themselves, their community, or the world.

The award will be presented by the Dalai Lama himself when he visits the Capital on June 22.

His representative, Thubten Samdup said: “The main purpose of His Holiness’ visit to the UK in June is engagement with the young people, because we feel that until we are able to educate the hearts and minds of young people, nothing’s going to change.

“He feels the time has come that young people need to feel that the kind of future that they want to see for themselves and their children, they have to stand up and be the change.

“His Holiness has so much hope in the young people. He always says this century must be the century of dialogue and peace, unlike the past century, which has been of bloodshed and violence, and he says that it’s only the young people that they should be encouraged to explore the ways that they can make that difference.

“We’re looking for young individuals that have really taken on very altruistic, compassionate work where they’ve made a real contribution to society – I’m sure there are many of them.”

The award will be presented at a public talk at the Usher Hall. Similar awards will also be given on the Dalai Lama’s visits to London and Manchester, with the three awards the first of their kind anywhere in the world.

Victor Spence, co-ordinator of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Scotland, said: “This is a very exciting new contribution to the visit. A compassion award is going to recognise a young person in our community who is living out tremendous acts of selflessness, optimism and compassion.”

How to win award

THE Youth Compassion Award is open to anyone between the ages of ten and 24 living in Edinburgh and the Lothians who has made a positive difference to their community.

The nominations can be made by writing, on behalf of yourself or someone else, to Youth Compassion Award, Edinburgh Evening News, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS.

The Dalai Lama will personally present the award to whoever is deemed by our Award Panel to have done most to transform themselves, their community or the world around them through distinctive acts of compassion.

Nomination letters should be no more than 500 words at most and must be received before the closing date of June 8.

Influential across globe

REVERED across the world as an advocate of peace, the Dalai Lama is the most influential figure in Buddism.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled Tibet for India in 1959 when Chinese troops crushed an uprising in his homeland, and was followed into exile by 80,000 Tibetans.

For the past 50 years he has tried to preserve the culture of the Tibetan people and publicise their plight on the world stage.

He has pursued Tibetan autonomy rather than independence, although the Chinese regard him as a separatist.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his consistent opposition to the use of violence in his quest for Tibetan self-rule.

Despite their disagreements, he has continued to seek dialogue with Beijing and has ignored pressure from a growing number of Tibetan activists who advocate a harder line.