Story at a glance

  • A video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd has gone viral.
  • Floyd died in custody and many Americans are protesting against police brutality.
  • The Dalai Lama condemned violence and discrimination in a talk during which he addressed the video.

The viral video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on a black man's neck as he struggles to breathe has spread overseas, reaching the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader for many Buddhists and other followers throughout the world. 

"We see in the news channels, the media about discrimination on the basis of color or religion these days, and then there is killing due to that, and then there are some who even take it as a pride to be able to kill somebody,” he said. 


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The Dalai Lama addressed his followers in a two-part webcast from his residence in Himachal Pradesh, India, on May 29, rather than in person, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He encouraged viewers to practice compassion amid current events, addressing the protests in the United States following the death of George Floyd in police custody. 

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"Just yesterday I saw on the television news, somewhere in Minnesota, or somewhere in America, one black person had actually fallen under a car, and the police team ... and he actually pushed his knee on the neck of that black person,” he said. 

The Dalai Lama's comments, streamed live on Facebook, were part of a lecture on Avalokiteshvara, which roughly translates to "Lord who looks down with compassion.”  Despite what he saw on the news, the spiritual leader said humans are compassionate by nature. 

“If you pay attention, all living beings with the experience of feeling and sensation survive through compassion and love,” he said. “If we as human beings do not harm one another, but help one another, serve one another and be compassionate with one another, then we will have a peaceful world.”


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Published on May 29, 2020