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Dalai Lama praises New Zealand's PM for her handling of Christchurch attack

Dalai Lama praises New Zealand's PM for her handling of Christchurch attack

On Thursday, the Dalai Lama praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her response to the Christchurch mosque attacks, saying that others could learn from her.

The recent attacks on two mosques in New Zealand left 50 Muslim worshippers dead, and dozens injured.

He told reporters: "I really admire the New Zealand prime minister. She is wonderful…"  - addressing a conference of educators and students.

"She really tried to tackle this problem through nonviolence, through compassion and through mutual respect. I really admire her. I think that's one living example."

He added that the Christchurch attack on worshippers was an example of what hatred can do to people.

The 83-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader also answered questions relating to Tibet’s future with China.

He has been living in exile in India since a failed 1959 uprising in Tibet.

He restated that he is not seeking independence for Tibet, but that he would prefer a "reunion" with China under mutually acceptable terms.

"I prefer Tibet remain within the zone of China. Some kind of reunion," he said.

He continued by saying that he has faith in Chinese and Tibetans being able to live side-by-side, as China helps Tibetans economically while it gains knowledge from Tibet.

Tibet has been part of China’s territory for more than seven centuries.

Many Tibetans insist that they were essentially independent and that China imposed heavy-handed rules after the People's Liberation Army's fought its way into the Himalayan region in 1950.

The Dalai Lama said that he established contact with Chinese leaders in 1979, but little progress has been made since as the People’s Republic of China continues to believe that the Dalai Lama wants Tibetan independence.

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