Climate Change Worries Dalai Lama

August 6th 2009

Geneva, Switzerland, 6 August 2009 ( - Climate change poses a bigger threat to Tibet than current political pressures, the Dalai Lama told a top Swiss parliamentarian on Thursday.

During his last day in Switzerland, the spiritual leader met the speaker of the House of Representatives, Chiara Simoneschi-Cortesi, in Lausanne before traveling to Geneva for a conference on Chinese-Tibetan relations.

Scientists have said that rapidly melting glaciers in the Himalayas could have disastrous consequences for Tibet, where many of Asia's greatest rivers have their sources.

"The Dalai Lama has asked me to raise this issue with Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey so that it will be included in international discussions," Simoneschi-Cortesi said.

She added that she was "deeply moved" by her meeting with the Dalai Lama. The two talked about their cultures' shared values, such as love, respect, tolerance and non-violence.

The exiled Tibetan leader thanked the Swiss and the government for their hospitality, despite the fact that none of the country's ministers met him.

Some 4,000 Tibetans live in Switzerland, many of whom are now Swiss citizens.

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