Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama told the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit yesterday that technology may be getting in the way of peace.

Even as he used the technology of a tiny microphone attached to his ear and watched his friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak from South Africa via video, the revered spiritual leader expressed concern about how technology may be eliminating compassion.

“I think technology may have some benefits for a smart brain, but no capacity to produce compassion,” he told a-bout 12,000 devoted fans at the opening session of the peace summit.

In a panel discussion about peace, the Dalai Lama said it is that compassion and awareness that will lead to peace.

EBay founder, and fellow panellist, Pierre Omidyar disagreed with the Dalai Lama’s comments about technology, saying the Internet has enabled us to discover that people around the world have much more in common than first believed and that can lead to peace.

The Dalai Lama is the star attraction for the three-day conference that will see Nobel Peace Prize winners and spiritual, corporate and social leaders gather to talk about world peace.

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu were both presented with the Fetzer Prize for Love and Forgiveness at the summit.

Other summit participants include former prime minister Kim Campbell, Mary Robinson, the first female president of Ireland and a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nobel prize winners Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire, California first lady Maria Shriver and authors Eckhart Tolle and Sir Ken Robinson.