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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

 3:40 PM 

Dalai Lama promotes trust, lack of formality

In a brief speech to a joint session of the Legislature, the Dalai Lama recounted his appreciation of democracy and reminded officials "transparency, that brings trust, trust brings friendship."

The 14th Dalai Lama, the religious leader of many Tibetan Buddhists, spent time recounting his time in exile in India and his decision to retire from his political role as leader of the Tibetan government in exile.

Despite the formality of the occasion -- complete with security detail from the State Department -- the Dalai Lama made clear that he is no fan of such formality.

"I've been on throne and meeting with people. I have to sit on throne like statute," the Dalai Lama said to laughter. "I'm fed up with this sort of formality."

He made his point by referencing an event in which the Queen of England was standing next to Prince Phillip during a ceremony and had her skirt blown upward by the wind. Were it not for ceremonial protocol, Phillip would have probably fixed her dress.

In addressing the politicians in the chamber, the Dalai Lama made clear that all humans -- be it the speaker or a homeless person living in the streets -- are the same in the end, saying "We born, we die, same."

However, he made clear that all peoples were concerned with happiness and that they should try to treat each other with compassion and transparency.

Before he left, he stepped back from the podium, looked down and said to the audience that he has been to many Assemblies and many government bodies in his time.

"This is the first time there's been some shoes here," he said, referencing shoes left behind by one of the Assembly Clerk's staffers.

UPDATE: In case any one was concerned, another staffer made clear that the shoes were sneakers and that staffer was NOT walking around shoeless. No standards of style or decorum were broken on the floor of the Assembly.


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