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​Almanac: The Dalai Lama

On October 5, 1989, the political and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Almanac: The Dalai Lama 02:10

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: October 5th, 1989, 25 years ago today . . . the day the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced it was awarding that year's Peace Prize to the 14th Dalai Lama, the political and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama (born Tenzin Gyatso in 1935), the traditional religious and temporal head of Tibet's Buddhist clergy, in 1959. AFP/Getty Images

He was born in 1935. Buddhist leaders declared him -- while still a young boy -- to be the re-incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama.

Monks prepared him for his new role, a role that was disrupted in 1959, when Chinese occupying troops forced him, at the age of 23, to flee Tibet for exile in India.

In the years that followed, the Dalai Lama has steadfastly championed the Tibetan cause, while at the same time opposing any resort to violence.

Instead, as the Nobel committee emphasized, the Dalai Lama "advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people."

The Dalai Lama accepted the Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, 1989.

In his Nobel lecture speech he included a prayer:

For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

And in the quarter-century since, he has continued to speak out for Tibet . . . and for non-violence and tolerance, earning the admiration of people of all faiths all around the world.

A ceremony in India this past week marked the 25th anniversary of his Peace Prize . . . but what the future holds is in some doubt.

The Dalai Lama forswore the political part of his role in 2011, and at age 79 he has questioned whether there should even be a 15th Dalai Lama after he's gone.

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