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Dalai Lama Comments Provoke Conversation on Ethics of bin Laden Killing

A Los Angeles Times piece suggests Tibet’s spiritual leader supports the American action against Osama bin Laden, surprising some followers and causing others to seek clarification of the Dalai Lama’s comments. He was asked by a student at USC on Tuesday for his reaction to bin Laden’s death, replying, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take countermeasures, you have to take countermeasures.”

Though the Times reported this comment as an endorsement of the killing, a post on DalaiLama.com clarified, “His Holiness said therefore the counter measure, no matter what form it takes, has to be compassionate action. His Holiness referred to the basis of the practice of forgiveness saying that it, however, did not mean that one should forget what has been done.” — KDG

Los Angeles Times:

As the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the 14th Dalai Lama says he practices compassion to such an extent that he tries to avoid swatting mosquitoes “when my mood is good and there is no danger of malaria,” sometimes watching with interest as they swell with his blood.

Yet, in an appearance Tuesday at USC, he appeared to suggest that the United States was justified in killing Osama bin Laden.

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