Today is the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday. A worldwide icon for understanding, peaceful resolution to conflict and the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, he arrived to the United States yesterday.
As RFA reports, Chinese authorities increased security in Tibet ahead of the Dalai Lama’s birthday, which comes at a particularly sensitive time in the region as a number of Tibetans have held anti-China protests in both Kardze and Ngaba prefectures in recent weeks. The Chinese Communist Party engaged in celebrations of its 90th anniversary on July 1st.
Two illustrious personalities who the Dalai Lama often draws inspiration from and refers to as his “great masters” are Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. They are two great leaders who have had a profound influence on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s approach as outlined by his three main commitments of promotion of human values in a secular way, promotion of religious freedom and finding a nonviolent resolution to the Tibetan issue. For the special celebration of his 76th Birthday Mr. Martin King, son of Dr. King and Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will join the Dalai Lama on stage at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The event will be broadcast live here.
Beginning today, he will lead a 10-day prayer and meditation ritual at the Kalachakra Center for World Peace in Washington, DC. His Holiness will give a public talk on Friday entitled A Talk for World Peace in the morning at the West Lawn of the US Capitol. Admission is free to the public. For more information, visit this website. A listing the Dalai Lama’s public schedule while in the United States is available here.
In the coming days His Holiness will be visiting the Capitol Hill to meet with Speaker John Boehner and other members of Congress.