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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 June, 2004, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Dalai Lama addresses Holyrood
The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama received a standing ovation from MSPs
The Dalai Lama has led the Scottish Parliament in a spiritual ceremony.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner said it was "an honour" to visit the "unique" parliament, where he was the speaker in Time for Reflection on Wednesday.

The exiled Tibetan leader met MSPs and religious leaders ahead of the service in the main chamber.

The event normally starts the week in parliament, allowing people from a wide range of faiths and beliefs to share their thoughts with MSPs.

The Dalai Lama received a standing ovation after his address to a packed parliament.

I think I could learn something from your experience
Dalai Lama
He said: "It is a great pleasure and honour for me to be able to visit this unique Scottish Parliament, which in one way is a very old parliament but at the same time is a new parliament as well.

"I think there are some similarities about your concern about preservation of your own identity and your own culture and spirituality.

"I think I could learn something from your experience."

He said he appreciated the chance to say a few words to parliament because he admired the democratic system.

The Dalai Lama said that wisdom, justice and compassion were of "universal value".

He said the voters had placed a lot of trust in MSPs, who had a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

'Short-sighted feeling'

"In order to fulfil their wish, their expression, if you carry on your works according to these principles then you yourself get more deeper satisfaction. That deep satisfaction will last until your last day," he said.

But he warned that a "short-sighted feeling" could lead people to consider things for a more immediate benefit - which did not provide the same satisfaction in the long-run.

The Dalai Lama was greeted by about 70 children from Royal Mile and Preston Street primary schools as he arrived at the Signet Library.

The Dalai Lama meets Jack McConnell and other political leaders
The Dalai Lama met Jack McConnell and other political leaders
He bowed and shook hands with a number of the children and paused for photographs with the parliament's Presiding Officer George Reid.

He then met First Minister Jack McConnell, the leaders of Scotland's other main political parties and religious leaders.

During the morning the Dalai Lama met the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, Friends of Tibet and a cross-party group of MSPs interested in Tibet.

Following his speech in the chamber the Dalai Lama addressed an audience of MSPs and other invited guests.

There was then a question and answer session, chaired by Presiding Officer George Reid, before a similar session with an audience of schoolchildren from across Scotland.

The Dalai Lama was greeted to the capital by Lord Provost Lesley Hinds, who presented him with a tartan scarf.

Dalai Lama urges 'warm hearts'
29 May 04  |  Scotland
Chinese protest over Dalai visit
28 Apr 04  |  Merseyside

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