Dalai Lama warns against despair

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has warned the British people against feeling "hopeless" and "helpless" in the face of economic difficulties.

The exiled religious leader said the recession was made by man - not by God - and "every effort" must be made to tackle the difficulties.

"We must make every effort to work on these things ... We need self-confidence, please do not feel helpless or hopeless," he told a news conference at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The exiled religious leader also revealed that he wrote to David Cameron following last August's riots to express his sadness and "condolences" at the disorder.

"Recently there have been some problems in London and also some other countries," he said. "I always thought that Englishmen were mature people, sensible people and law-abiding people. If such things happen in some other developing countries - or different countries ... but in England... I immediately sent a letter to the Prime Minister expressing my sadness and my condolences."

The Dalai Lama was speaking before he was due to receive the £1.1 million 2012 Templeton Prize in London for his engagement with science and people beyond his religious traditions.

He announced he was donating 1.5 million dollars (£934,000) of the prize money to Save the Children's work with malnourished children in India.

He will donate 200,000 dollars (£124,500) to the Mind and Life Institute, an organisation promoting collaboration between science and spirituality. The remaining 75,000 dollars (£46,702) of the prize money will be used for funding science education for student monks in Tibetan monastic universities.

Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said: "Save the Children is absolutely delighted. It is a huge honour to receive this humanitarian gift from the Dalai Lama."

During his news conference, the Dalai Lama said money and power fail to bring "inner peace". He also warned against the "brainwashing" of people into believing that money is the "utmost source" of happiness. "To simply show people that money is the utmost source of happiness is, I think, wrong," he said.