MINNESOTA— Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived here in the state of Minnesota to a grand reception today in the evening.
A group of Tibetans under the aegis of Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota lined up infront of the Marquette hotel in Minneapolis, carrying Tibetan traditional white scarves to welcome the Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Dalai Lama who is currently on a three-week visit to the States 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.
A day after the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum anniversary, the Dalai Lama will celebrate the Tibetan new year which is his first ever Tibetan new year celebration outside India in last 55 years of his exile life.
Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota had invited several U.S. politicians and dignitaries to accompany the Dalai Lama on the Tibetan new year celebration.
Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton has turned down the invitation as he had a hip surgery recently.
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.
Speaking to this reporter, several Tibetan Americans said that the President Barack Obama should make a “happy new year proclamation” to the Dalai Lama as the Tibetan spiritual leader will be celebrating the Tibetan new year here in the state, for the first time in last 55 years of his exile life.
“Every year, White House makes happy new year press release during Chinese new year or Indian new year or Korean new year or Vietnam new year, and I think he should make the same to the Tibetan Americans as well,” said Namgyal Rapten, a member of the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota.
“If not to the Tibetan Americans, at least to the Dalai Lama as he will be celebrating his first losar (Tibetan new year) in U.S.A.” said Namgyal Rabten.
During his stay in 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 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for advocating peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect to end the plight of people inside Tibet.
The Tibetan spiritual leader often says that he is fighting for a “genuine autonomy” but the Beijing government always brands him a “splitist” trying to split Tibet from the mainland China.