Dalai Lama begins weekend visit to Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Dalai Lama visited Birmingham’s historic civil rights district on Saturday, part of a busy weekend that included a roster of scheduled appearances at a university, a baseball stadium and a theater. He also was met by some peaceful protests.
The Tibetan spiritual leader greeted supporters outside a downtown hotel at the outset of the visit and made a Saturday afternoon stop at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, AL.com reported ( http://bit.ly/1FNBreF ).
On Saturday, the spiritual leader alsowas joined by Birmingham Mayor William Bell.
At one of his stops, the Dalai Lama was quoted by AL.com as exhorting people everywhere to be peaceful, noting “anger brings violence.”
He also spoke of the need to close the wealth divide in the United States as elsewhere. “There’s a gap, rich and poor. It’s a very serious matter,” Al.com quoted him as saying.
The visit drew about 250 protesters downtown, Al.com said. They say the Dalai Lama has persecuted people and caused them to be mistreated and ostracized in Tibetan exile communities.
The Dalai Lama on Saturday also was participating in an event on brain science and healing hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
On Sunday, the Dalai Lama will participate in an interfaith event at the Alabama Theater, followed by a public talk at Regions Field.
WBMA-TV aired video of the Dalai Lama greeting supporters, who wore white scarves in hopes that he would bless them. Tibetan monks also had prepared sacred art in honor of the visit.