Belfast Telegraph

Words fail me on Dalai Lama

By Robert McNeill

Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Sean Connery. I have, at some time, been in the same room as all these world leaders. Not that they noticed. Neither, I suppose, did the Dalai Lama (real name Humphrey Gyatso).

I can’t remember what he was doing in town. He came, he saw, he tittered. But he’s a headline writer’s nightmare as he rarely says anything controversial. Sometimes, I think Buddhism is fine, other times a crock.

Put it this way, they think setting fire to yourself is a good way to take on the Chinese dictatorship occupying Tibet. I’d prefer something directed at someone else and deploying fewer matches.

Still, Mr Lama smiles a lot, which is unusual in a bald person. Now, he’s planning a small tour of the UK, like a Tibetan equivalent of the Rolling Stones. He should be invited to Belfast. He won’t say much. But his smile lights a room like a gentle candle.

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