Dalai Lama to give away $1.75MN award


His Holiness the Dalai Lama answers questions during a press conference following his participation in a panel discussion at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall on April 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.


Scott Olson

LONDON, UK – The Dalai Lama is to give away to charity £1.1 million ($1.75 million) awarded to him for encouraging “serious scientific investigative reviews of the power of compassion” and its potential to tackle global issues.

The 76-year-old spiritual leader, Nobel laureate, and leader of a Tibetan government in exile in India was in London Monday to receive the Templeton Prize at St Paul’s Cathedral for his contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, the BBC reports.

He is to donate about £900,000 to the Save the Children NGO in India, while £125,000 will be set aside for The Minds and Life Institute. Money will also be put towards a fund to educate Tibetan monks about science.

The prize, which is awarded by the John Templeton Foundation, honors “outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose and ultimate reality.” It was established in 1972 and is the world’s largest annual monetary award, according to The Daily Mail.

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Also on Monday, the Chinese government accused the Dalai Lama of spreading “false information” after he accused Beijing of plotting to poison him over the weekend.

In its daily press briefing, the Chinese foreign ministry said his allegations were not worth responding to, but accused the Dalai Lama of deceived the public:

"The Dalai always wears religious clothes while carrying out anti-China separatist activities in the global community, spreading false information and deceiving the public," said Hong Lei, a spokesman, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Answering questions from reporters in London on Monday on the subject of Tibet, the Dalai Lama refused to comment on whether Tibetan monks – who want autonomy for the region from China and accuse Beijing of repression – should stop setting themselves on fire, CNN reports.

“No answer,” he responded, saying it was a sensitive political question and that he had retired from politics.

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