Last updated on: 11/10/2008 | Author:

Tenzin Gyatso, PhD Biography

14th Dalai Lama, Tibetan Head of State and Buddhist spiritual leader
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“However horrible the act they have committed, I believe that everyone has the potential to improve and correct themselves. Therefore, I am optimistic that it remains possible to deter criminal activity, and prevent such harmful consequences of such acts in society, without having to resort to the death penalty.

My overriding belief is that is is always possible for criminals to improve and that by its very finality the death penalty contradicts this. Therefore, I support those organizations and individuals who are trying to bring an end to the use of the death penalty…

I wholeheartedly support an appeal to those countries who at present employ the death penalty to observe an unconditional moratorium.”

“Message Supporting the Moratorium on the Death Penalty,” read by Kobutsu Malone, Zenji at the Apr. 9, 1999 event “Creating a Legacy,” sponsored by peaceCENTER

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • 14th Dalai Lama, Head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet (in exile since 1959)
  • Recipient, Doctor Honoris Causa, multiple universities worldwide, 1990-present
  • Recipient, US Congressional Gold Medal, Oct. 17, 2007
  • Recipient, Honorary Citizenship, Canada, Sep. 9, 2006
  • Recipient, Hessian Peace Prize, Parliament of Hesse, Wiesbaden, July 27, 2005
  • Recipient, Order of the White Lotus, Republic of Kalmykia, Russian Federation, Kalmykia, Dec. 10, 2006
  • Recipient, Human Right Award, International League for Human Rights,Sep. 19, 2003
  • Recipient, Peace Award 2000, UN Association of Australia, May 21, 2002
  • Recipient, Boddhi Award, American Buddhist Congress, Oct. 12, 1999
  • Recipient, Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Medal, June 4, 1994
  • Recipient, Nobel Peace Prize, 1989
  • PhD, Geshe Lharampa Degree (Doctorate of Buddhist Philosophy), Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, 1959
  • Born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6, 1935 in Takster, Amdo, North-East Tibet
  • Recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama
  • Enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama, Feb. 22, 1940 in Lhasa, Tibet
  • Assumed full political power of Tibet on Nov. 17, 1950