May 20, 2002

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The Dalai Lama warned Tuesday that the U.S.-led war on terror could trigger a cycle of violence that would be difficult to break.

``The difficulty with violence is (that) once you commit it, it's unpredictable,'' said the Buddhist spiritual leader, who is on a 10-day tour of Australia.

``At the beginning you may have certain intentions or certain aims but ... there's always a danger (it will get) out of control,'' he added.

The Dalai Lama said the war in Afghanistan could be justified to an extent because it liberated the nation from the oppressive Taliban regime.

But he said the long-term solution to the terrorist threat was to concentrate on promoting basic human values.

He said the practice of the world's strongest military nations having the biggest say in international affairs was out of date.

Instead, the world's citizens have a shared responsibility to interact with and understand their neighbors, he added.

``That reduces their suspicions, their feeling of distance,'' he said.

However, the Dalai Lama admitted that completely eliminating terrorism was impossible.

``So long as human beings remain on this planet, I think this (terrorism) will remain,'' he said.

The Dalai Lama was awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against the Chinese rule in his homeland. He fled Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against China.

The spiritual leader is visiting Australia to promote Buddhist teachings of peace and to highlight Tibet's struggle for autonomy.

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