Dalai Lama pays tribute to John Hume, hailing him 'an example to us all'

Dalai Lama pays tribute to John Hume, hailing him 'an example to us all'

THE DALAI LAMA has paid tribute to the late John Hume, describing the Irishman as a "an example to us all".

The leader of Buddhism took to social media to honour Hume for his involvement in the Good Friday Agreement and praise his leadership and faith throughout the peace process.

"John Hume's deep conviction in the power of dialogue and negotiations to resolve conflict was unwavering," he wrote on Twitter.

"It was his leadership and his faith in the power of negotiations that enabled the 1998 Good Friday Agreement to be reached.

"His steady persistence set an example for us all to follow."

He concluded with the observation that Hume's dedication to peace and nonviolence in the resolution of conflict, no matter how protracted or difficult it may seem to be, will long survive him and noted that he had lived a meaningful life.

The 14th Dalai Lama, 85, was reflecting on the times he'd met Hume during various trips to Northern Ireland.

Hume passed away on Monday after several years spent battling dementia. 

A Derry native who represented the city for 36 years, Hume was a leading advocate of non-violence during the Troubles.

The founder Social Democratic and Labour Party, Hume first became involved in the Northern Irish civil rights movement in the late 1960s before taking charge of the SDLP from 1979 to 2001.

Convinced nationalism was a declining force in Europe, Hume was a keen proponent of the establishment of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland. 

A life-long campaigner for civil rights, he was a driving force behind the establishment of improved relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between London and Dublin.

His efforts were crucial in bringing IRA leader Gerry Adams, and the British Government to the negotiation table in a crucial first step towards the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. 

Hume was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in 1998.