ABC News Radio
(WASHINGTON) — The Dalai Lama will celebrate his 76th birthday Wednesday in downtown Washington, D.C., as thousands gather to take part in an ancient Buddhist ritual and a call for world peace.
Meanwhile, international political observers are waiting to see if the exiled Tibetan leader will be granted a meeting with President Obama, just a few blocks away.
It will be the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s first official event since stepping down as Tibet’s exiled political leader in March and his first since his February 2010 visit to Washington that caused tension in U.S.-Chinese relations.
The grandson and son of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. — two international icons of nonviolence — and tens of thousands of followers from around the world are expected to attend the ceremonies at Washington’s major sports arena and pay their respects to the Dalai Lama’s enduring message of peace.
But even while the majority of his time will be spent conducting religious ceremonies, the Dalai Lama will also have several political meetings in Washington, advocating for the religious and civil rights of his Tibetan Buddhist followers who fled their homeland after a failed 1959 uprising against the Chinese government. Click here to continue reading.