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Dalai Lama wins $1.7 million prize

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, has won $1.7 million after being awarded the 2012 Templeton Prize for his work linking science and wider questions of faith and religion.

Tenzin Gyatso, 76, the 14th Dalai Lama, will be presented with his award at a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London in May.


The Tibetan monk, believed by his followers to be the reincarnation of an ancient Buddhist leader, has not yet said how intends to spend the cash.

The prize comes at a time of heightened tension between Tibetans and Chinese authorities.

China boosts security in Tibet following protests

In a video response on the John Templeton Foundation website, he described the award as recognition of his “little service to humanity."

John Templeton Jr., son of the late prize founder, said the Dalai Lama “offers a universal voice of compassion underpinned by a love and respect for spiritually relevant scientific research that centers on every single human being."

Q&A: The Dalai Lama, Tibet and China

The foundation said the prize is the world's largest annual monetary award given to an individual.

The Dalai Lama, who has both a Facebook and a Twitter account, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

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