News

Dalai Lama's US Visit Draws Attention to Tibet Turmoil

A Tibetan exile at the Tsuglagkhang temple waits for the body of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan man who set himself ablaze, to arrive for cremation, in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, March 30, 2012
A Tibetan exile at the Tsuglagkhang temple waits for the body of Jamphel Yeshi, a Tibetan man who set himself ablaze, to arrive for cremation, in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala, March 30, 2012

Following a year in which more than 30 Tibetans set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet, the Dalai Lama is to begin a four-day visit to California on Wednesday. Some American admirers said the Tibetan spiritual leader's teachings have made them more aware of the problems in his homeland.

The Dalai Lama has noted followers in Hollywood, including actor Richard Gere.  

He also has admirers at the University of Southern California, where he spoke in May, 2011. Recent graduate Jake Bloch was attracted by the Dalai Lama's charismatic style, and the former student is now concerned with the plight of Tibetans.

“His visit last year to the USC campus and his regular visits to universities across America have helped to increase awareness,” said Bloch.

The Dalai Lama is Buddhist, but his humor and down-to-earth approach appeal to Catholic graduate student Megan Sweas and others.

“Jews, Hindus, secular people, atheists, they can all relate to what he has to bring to the table,” said Sweas.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, January 3, 2012
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, January 3, 2012

Chinese authorities blame the Dalai Lama for the 20 deaths caused by the the self-immolations, mostly by members of the Buddhist clergy. The Dalai Lama blames China's harsh rule for the frustrations of Tibetans that he says have led to the suicides.

These students say the Dalai Lama promotes a message of peace.

USC's Dean of Religious Life, Varun Soni, said most Americans are united in their admiration. “Both Democrats and Republicans seem to gravitate towards him. "People from different faith traditions seem to flock to be with him. People who are not religious really deeply respect him and read his books," Soni said.

The abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India, Geshe Jangchup Choeden, is now visiting California and said the Dalai Lama is important to Tibetans on many levels - as a religious, ethical and spiritual leader.

“Tibetan people have a deep sense of devotion and trust and faith in him, and it makes him very special. It is kind of unimaginable for the rest of the world what is the Dalai Lama for the Tibetans,” said the abbot.

The Tibet issue drew protesters and defenders of the Chinese government during February's visit by China's Vice President Xi Jinping. The focus of this visit by the Dalai Lama is spiritual, but the Tibet issue is not far in the background.

The Dalai Lama will speak in San Diego and Long Beach, before moving on to Chicago for appearances April 25 and 26.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs