Salt Lake City, June 21: The Dalai Lama is set to speak about compassion and universal responsibility at the University of Utah on Wednesday,June 22.
His speech comes after stops in Washington, D.C. and California. The Tibetan spiritual leader was greeted by an admiring crowd of a few hundred people who waited in nearly 100-degree heat outside his Salt Lake City hotel when he arrived in Utah yesterday.
The 80-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate was greeted at the airport by Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biskupski and Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams. He's also expected to meet with Mormon church leaders and high-ranking politicians like Gov.
Gary Herbert. That's in spite of a warning letter from a Weber State University professor who helped broker Utah's relations with China.
Professor Taowen Le said it could jeopardize that relationship, but Utah leaders said the China connection doesn't mean giving up core values like the freedom of speech.
The sentiment echoes Beijing's position on President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama last week. Beijing accuses Tibetan spiritual leader of heading a campaign to split the region off from the rest of China, though the Dalai Lama says he simply wants a higher degree of autonomy under Chinese rule.
The appearance at the University of Utah was scheduled after the Dalai Lama had to cancel a speech last year after doctors at the Mayo Clinic told him to rest. The university has said he resumed his regular schedule after being treated for a prostate problem.