Dalai Lama Slams Anti-Whaling Protesters


The Dalai Lama has criticised wildlife activists for staging what he said were violent protests over Japan's hunting of whales.

The rebuke came as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader visited Japan for an 11-day lecture tour.

At a news conference, he said he had told the US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop its violent harassment of Japan's whaling fleet.

"One time I wrote a letter...(saying) their activities should be stopping," he told reporters.

The Dalai Lama said he supported Sea Shepherd's goal of preventing whalers from harming the giant sea mammals but added that "their (activities) should be non-violent".

Japan's annual whale hunt -- carried out under a loophole to an international moratorium that allows killing for what it calls scientific research -- has long been criticised by conservationists.

Japanese prosecutors have demanded two years in prison for New Zealand anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune, 45, on trial for assault and charges relating to his boarding of a harpoon ship in Antarctic waters. Mr Bethune has been in a Japanese jail since March 12. Sea Shepherd has banned him from future protests.

The Dalai Lama, who has no plans to meet government ministers during the visit, will give a public lecture tomorrow in Nagano prefecture, hosted by monks of the Zenkoji Buddhist temple.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner escaped Tibet in 1959 to start life in exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He praised his host nation, saying he hoped to promote "harmony" which has been cherished in India for more than 1000 years.


From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

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