Speaking in advance of an April visit to Ireland, Nobel Peace Laureate and exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama delivered a message to the people of Ireland calling for them to demonstrate courage and hope. 

“Our world is in turmoil, but this also provides an opportunity for true transformation towards peace, justice and happiness if we show courage and hope,” he said in the message which can be viewed in full on the new website www.possibilities.ie.

The Dalai Lama’s message comes ahead of his April 13-14 visit to Ireland. He will visit in order to support the new Possibilities 2011 social change initiative. This initiative has been being launched by three non-profit organisations -- Children in Crossfire, SpunOut.ie, and Afri.

He said, “It is my hope that Possibilities 2011 will open up a space of dialogue, action and reflection and strengthen the realization that vast possibilities are available to the people of Ireland at this time.”

This will be his third visit to the Republic of Ireland (having visited in 1973 and 1991), and follows a personal invitation from Derry native Richard Moore, who the Dalai Lama describes as his personal hero.

In 1972, aged 10, Moore was blinded by a rubber bullet and years later he befriended the soldier who shot him. He has gone on to become a leading advocate for children through his Children in Crossfire international development organization, of which the Dalai Lama is patron.

According to Moore, the Dalai Lama represents the type of progressive leadership that is badly needed in Ireland right now.

“The Dalai Lama offers a deep wisdom to help us better understand and address the urgent and interconnected range of economic, social, political and environmental problems facing us today. He is someone respected by people from all walks of life, someone who can help us realise the real possibilities for change that exist in amongst all the tough times,” Moore said.

More information on Possibilities 2011 and the Dalai Lama’s visit are available from www.possibilities.ie.