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The Dalai Lama's letter to the President of the United States of America


Your Excellency,

I am deeply shocked by the terrorist attacks that took place involving four
apparently hijacked aircrafts and the immense devastation these caused. It is a
terrible tragedy that so many innocent lives have been lost and it seems
unbelievable that anyone would choose to target the World Trade Center in New
York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. We are deeply saddened. On behalf
of the Tibetan people I would like to convey our deepest condolence and
solidarity with the American people during this painful time. Our prayers go out
to the many who have lost their lives, those who have been injured and the many
more who have been traumatized by this senseless act of violence. I am attending
a special prayer for the United States and it's people at our main temple today.

I am confident that the United States as a great and powerful nation will be
able to overcome this present tragedy. The American people have shown their
resilience, courage and determination when faced with such difficult and sad
situation.

It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think
seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater
interest of the nation and people in the long run. I believe violence will only
increase the cycle of violence. But how do we deal with hatred and anger, which
are often the root causes of such senseless violence? This is a very difficult
question, especially when it concerns a nation and we have certain fixed
conceptions of how to deal with such attacks. I am sure that you will make the
right decision.

With my prayers and good wishes
The Dalai Lama
September 12, 2001
Dharamsala, India