Dalai Lama begins four-city tour at Emory

Tickets to hear an address by His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people, were gone within an hour and a half of their being made available last Monday morning. Lines formed as early as 6:30 a.m. for tickets to hear the Dalai Lama speak on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Woodruff P.E. Center. Admission to the event is free, but tickets are required.

The Dalai Lama is expected to speak about Tibet's current political situation. Tibet is in its fourth decade of Chinese occupation, and the Dalai Lama is the exiled leader of the 6 million Tibetan people. He is the recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet and also for his "philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature." The Dalai Lama is considered one of the world's leading advocates for the resolution of international problems through peaceful means. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, the group sponsoring his tour in the United States, he "comes to the United States to gather support for his people and to advance a solution to the issue of Tibet."

His address at Emory will be the first of four in the United States; when he leaves Atlanta, he will travel to Houston, Boston and Washington, D.C. While on his four-city tour, he is expecting to meet with key U.S. policy makers, business leaders, students and Chinese people residing in America. He is scheduled to meet with Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) during his stay. While in Atlanta, he will meet with ecumenical leaders at The Temple and with local Buddhists at the Turner Conference Center.

The Dalai Lama, whose name means "Ocean of Wisdom," last spoke at Emory in 1987, when he encouraged the audience to live lives of cooperation, compassion and community.

Born into a peasant family in a farming village of Tibet in 1935, the Dalai Lama was recognized at the age of two by a series of miraculous signs as the reincarnation of his predecessor, the XIII Dalai Lama, in accordance with Tibetan tradition. He is considered by followers to be a reincarnation of the Buddha. He has lived in exile in India since 1959, after a popular uprising against the Chinese erupted in Tibet. More than 100,000 exiled Tibetans followed him into exile and live in more than 50 large scale agricultural communities in India and Nepal.

In an attempt to resolve the Tibetan issue and out of concern over a massive transfer of Chinese into Tibet, the Dalai Lama has made several proposals for a negotiated settlement with the Chinese.

-- Joyce Bell and

Nancy Spitler