Dalai Lama on way to US, Karmapa to follow

Thaindian (IANS), April 10, 2008

Dharamsala, India -- Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reached Japan Thursday on his way to the US. The Karmapa Lama, the only major monk reincarnate recognised by both the Tibetan leader and China, is also set to visit the US. Several dozen Japanese devotees and Tibetans were present at the Narita airport near Tokyo to welcome the Dalai Lama, a spokesman for the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

In Seattle, the Dalai Lama will take part in a series of lectures during a five-day conference on ‘Seeds of Compassion’ starting April 11, the spokesman said.

According to the organisers, more than 150,000 people are expected to join the conference.

The Karmapa Lama, who is the head of the Kagyu school of Buddhism, has been permitted by the Indian government to visit the US between May 15 and June 2.

“His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will visit the US,” said the Karmapa’s spokesman here.

The Karmapa will visit New York, Woodstock, Colorado, Seattle and Washington and talk on Buddhist teachings.

This will be the first time the Karmapa Lama, 22, is travelling out of India since he fled Tibet and sought refuge here eight years ago.

His office has described his proposed visit to the US as “historic” and said that the Tibetan community was highly “appreciative” for the permission granted to him by the Indian government.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. His government-in-exile, which is not recognised by any country, is based in the hill town of Dharamsala.