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Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga talk of kindness at mayors conference

The Dalai Lama greets Lady Gaga, right, before a question and answer session at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, Sunday, June 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Dalai Lama has spoken to more than 200 American mayors about the importance of being kind in a violent world.

The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism gave Sunday’s keynote address at the United States Conference of Mayors gathering in Indianapolis. He later discussed America’s role as a global leader.

The Indianapolis Star reports the Dalai Lama noted the U.S. has long been at the forefront of technological and scientific innovation. He added that the U.S. should promote compassion and love “in order to achieve a compassionate world.”

After the speech, the Dalai Lama was joined by pop singer Lady Gaga and businessman Philip Anschutz for a panel discussion. They spoke about topics that divide society, including race and sexual orientation, with Lady Gaga saying, “None of this can matter anymore.”

Meantime, China has warned people to be aware of what it says are nefarious motives of the Dalai Lama.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that the purpose of the Dalai Lama’s travels is to “promote his proposal for Tibetan independence.”

Beijing regularly vilifies the Tibetans’ spiritual leader as a political figure who advocates Tibetan independence from China. The Dalai Lama says he simply wants a higher degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.

Asked about the meeting, Hong said that China would like people to be aware of “his true colors and nature.”

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