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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 17:00 GMT
Dalai Lama begins NI peace visit
The Dalai Lama (right) greets a resident of the Corrymeela Centre
The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhists, has been visiting a peace and reconciliation centre in County Antrim.

The spiritual leader visited the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.

It is the first day of his three-day visit to Northern Ireland for a series of meetings on the theme of The Spiritual Dimension of Peace.

The Dalai Lama, 70, last visited the province five years ago.

He said that since then, he has been following the peace process and has been eager to return.


He said he wanted to learn lessons from the experience in Northern Ireland which he can share with others on his world travels.

He was welcomed to Belfast on Sunday with a performance from the Ray of Hope School Choir.

He arrived in the province following two days of engagements in Scotland.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since he fled from Chinese troops in 1959 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent struggle for Tibet.

On Monday, the Dalai Lama will officially open the headquarters of Mediation Northern Ireland in south Belfast.

On Tuesday, Belfast Cathedral will host the last event of the Dalai Lama's visit, the 2005 Way of Peace celebration.

He will be welcomed by Dean Houston McKelvey, and meet privately with clergy of the various Christian denominations and other world faiths in the Chapel of Unity.

Dean McKelvey said he would be "delighted" to be hosting the Dalai Lama.

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