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Victor Chan Delivers the Dalai Lama's Message of Forgiveness to Koreans

Digital CHosun (Arirang TV), Nov 10, 2004

Seoul, South Korea -- The Dalai Lama has been a source of inspiration for many around the world as a living symbol of peace. Victor Chan, his longtime friend and the co-author of his latest publication, visited Korea on behalf of the Dalai Lama to spread the Tibetan spiritual leader's message of "forgiveness" to Koreans.

The teachings of the Dalai Lama have particular resonance with Koreans, who have a history of Buddhism spanning centuries. But it's not just some nine-million followers in the country today that can learn from the renowned Tibetan Buddhist monk as his key message of mercy and forgiveness is universal.

"Interdependence, interconnectedness between people is not a concept. It's a very real thing for him. So if people are truly interconnected this way, if you hurt somebody, ultimately, you're hurting yourself too. So I think this is what gives the idea of forgiveness a very sound, rational basis."

So says Victor Chan, co-author with the Dalai Lama of their latest book "The Wisdom of Forgiveness," who recently visited Korea on behalf of his spiritual mentor.

The professor of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia describes their initial encounter as one between a Chinese hippie travelling in the mountains of the Himalayas and a monk in exile that has evolved into an unwavering friendship over the past three decades.

Chan highlighted the importance of forgiveness in attaining peace and spoke about the example of the Dalai Lama, who for the past four decades has been in exile, peacefully seeking his native Tibet's independence from China.

"If you look at the world with all the cyclical violence out there. Just look at Israel and Palestinians. It's a conflict that's been going on and on. You have someone committing violence, and then there's a revenge and so on. So it's never-ending."

As the exiled leader is legally unable to visit the country, Chan instead brought with him a nine-minute video message from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate emphasizing the common fate humans share.

"Each nation, each community's prosperity or future depends on one another. So the whole world is so much interconnected. So under that circumstances, we're truly one family.''

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