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Forgiveness for Slain Al-Qa’ida Chief Does Not Mean One Should ‘forget what happened’: Dalai Lama

Boston (PTI): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that Osama bin Laden’s actions had to be “brought to justice” and forgiveness for the slain al Qa’ida chief does not mean one should “forget what happened.” Speaking to students at the University of Southern California, the Dalai Lama said bin Laden may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness as a human being.

But “forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures,” a report in the Los Angeles Times quoted the Tibetan leader as saying in response to a question about the death of bin Laden.

A separate statement on the Dalai Lama’s website explained further what the Tibetan leader had said at USC on Tuesday when asked whether in some situation ensuring justice is more important than being compassionate to the perpetrator of a crime.

In his response, the Dalai Lama “emphasized the need to find a distinction between the action and the actor.”

He said in the case of bin Laden, “his action was of course destructive and the September 11 events killed thousands of people. So his action must be brought to justice.”

The Tibetan leader added that with the actor one must have compassion and a sense of concern.

“Therefore the counter measure, no matter what form it takes, has to be compassionate action.”

Referring to the basis of the practice of forgiveness, the Dalai Lama said that it, however, did not mean that one should forget what has been done.

His speech at USC was titled ‘Secular Ethics, Human Values and Society’.


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