World

Dalai Lama meets protest at opening of UK Buddhist center

  • Monday, June 29, 2015: Tibet's exiled government and Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama stands on stage before making a speech to an audience at the ESS Stadium in Aldershot, southern England.

    Monday, June 29, 2015: Tibet's exiled government and Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama stands on stage before making a speech to an audience at the ESS Stadium in Aldershot, southern England.  (AP)

  • Monday, June 29, 2015: Buddhists and supporters of the International Shugden Community protest against the Dalai Lama across the street from the ESS Stadium as he makes a speech to an audience inside the stadium in Aldershot, southern England.

    Monday, June 29, 2015: Buddhists and supporters of the International Shugden Community protest against the Dalai Lama across the street from the ESS Stadium as he makes a speech to an audience inside the stadium in Aldershot, southern England.  (AP)

The Dalai Lama was met by supporters and protesters as he opened Britain's first Buddhist community center.

The 79-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader performed a blessing for the inauguration of the center in Aldershot, southwest of London. Aldershot is an army town with a substantial Buddhist population thanks to the Nepalese Gurkha regiment.

Several hundred members of the International Shugden Community chanted "Dalai Lama stop lying" as he arrived Monday. They accuse the Dalai Lama of preventing them from following their form of Buddhism, which he once practiced but renounced in the 1970s.

The Dalai Lama's supporters held a counter-demonstration nearby.

Opening the center, the spiritual leader seemed to refer to terrorist attacks in Tunisia and elsewhere, saying "killing in the name of religion is totally wrong" and calling for harmony.