Dalai Lama speaks at USC, suggests killing bin Laden justified

The Dalai Lama holds a forty-nine days memorial service for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the Gokokuji temple in Tokyo on April 29, 2011.
The Dalai Lama holds a forty-nine days memorial service for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami at the Gokokuji temple in Tokyo on April 29, 2011. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

The 14th Dalai Lama is making tracks through the Southland. Tuesday the exiled Buddhist leader of Tibet spoke at USC.

The Dalai Lama’s stops in the Southland follow his trip to earthquake-ravaged Japan last week. An illness forced him to cancel appearances at UCLA early this week. But he shook it off for a lecture on secular ethics and human values at USC’s Galen Center.

Not all people, he said, seek happiness through religion. "Religion certainly helping to create happy life, including prayer, some meditation, but main purpose is to create more happy, more sensible human being."

So, he said, human beings should focus more on ways to build a healthy society – not through religion, but through education.

The Dalai Lama is scheduled to speak Wednesday at Cal State Long Beach and UC Irvine.

- Brian Watt

More from the Associated Press:

Dalai Lama suggests killing bin Laden justified

The Dalai Lama seems to suggest the United States was justified in killing Osama bin Laden.

Speaking Tuesday to about 3,000 students at the University of Southern California, the 75-year-old Tibetan leader says bin Laden, as a human being, may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness.

But the Los Angeles Times says the Dalai Lama added: "Forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened."

He says it is sometimes necessary to take counter-measures.

It's the Dalai Lama's first U.S. visit since stepping down recently as the day-to-day political leader of Tibet's government in exile.

He skipped earlier Southern California appearances this week because he fell ill with a sore throat. He has stops scheduled Wednesday in Long Beach and Irvine.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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