Dalai Lama discusses climate change at UC Irvine

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- The Dalai Lama spoke about climate change at the University of California, Irvine on Monday, which marks the spiritual leader's 80th birthday.

Thousands were on hand at UC Irvine to hear the Dalai Lama, who has been a longtime advocate for raising awareness of climate change.

The Dalai Lama's birthday celebration actually kicked off on Sunday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Organizers wanted to celebrate early to coincide with his birthday in Tibet.

Sunday, he spoke about compassion and the transformative power of the arts. His talks are all part of the Dalai Lama's three-day Global Compassion Summit.

"Unbiased compassion can extend to your enemy. So that way, that compassion can be universal," he said.

Protesters gathered at each of the events the Dalai Lama attended.

"Right now, the Dalai Lama is talking about peace, compassion and tolerance, but in reality, he's a politician, and for the last 20 years, he's abused his power to create an atmosphere of religious hatred amongst the Buddhist community," said Len Foley with the International Shugden Communitiy.

Protesters accuse the Dalai Lama of religious discrimination of Shugden Buddhists for allegedly advising against the worship of a 500-year-old deity called Dorje Shugden.

The demonstrations were peaceful.

The Dalai Lama went back on stage Monday afternoon with a panel of Nobel laureates, other speakers and artists to discuss topics including wisdom, vision and experience.
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