MINNESOTA: The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama who is currently on a three-week visit to the United States will be celebrating the Tibetan New Year here in the state of Minnnesota on March 2.
This will be the first time in history for the Dalai Lama to celebrate the Tibetan new year in U.S.A. and it is also the first time in his entire exile life to celebrate Losar, the Tibetan new year outside India.
Mark Dayton, governor of the state is said to have rejected the invitation to celebrate losar with the Dalai Lama according to reliable sources.
However, the newly elected Mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges has confirmed to accompany the Dalai Lama on the Tibetan new year celebration.
According to the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, the mayor is also going to read “the Tibet Day proclamation in honour of the Dalai Lama and Tibet” during the new year celebration.
“U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, and Congresswoman Betty McCollum are also confirmed to attend the Tibetan new year celebration,” said Kalsang Phuntsok, one of the spokesmen of the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.
A day before the Tibetan new year celebration, the Tibetan spiritual leader is scheduled to attend the 26th annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum organized by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum and Augsburg college in St Paul, the capital city of Minnesota.
The Dalai Lama will also address, and take questions from a group of Chinese and Tibetan students in the state.
“As of now, 270 Chinese students are confirmed to attend the meeting with the Dalai Lama,” said Ngawang Chime, one of the core-organisers of the meeting with the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama had publicly stated that he and his people are willing to be under China if Beijing accepts his demand for a genuine autonomy.
Since adopting the policy of fighting for autonomy in late 1980s, the Dalai Lama believes building bridge with the Chinese public is the key to end the tragedy of people inside Tibet.
Chinese officials in Beijing often brand him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and his policy of “middle way approach” for a genuine autonomy as “independence in disguise”.
Saying that the Tibetan spiritual leader is trying to split Tibet from mainland China, Beijing urges world leaders not to meet with the Dalai Lama. However, despite China’s criticism, President Barrack Obama last Friday welcomed the Tibetan spiritual leader to the White House, and the two spent almost an hour discussing a varity of issues including human rights issues in Tibet.