Wake County

The Dalai Lama isn’t coming to Raleigh after all

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama talks to the media after consecrating the Thupsung Dhargyeling Monastery in Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India, on Thursday, April 6, 2017.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama talks to the media after consecrating the Thupsung Dhargyeling Monastery in Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh, India, on Thursday, April 6, 2017. AP

A planned April visit to Raleigh by the Dalai Lama has been canceled after the Buddhist spiritual leader announced that he would not be making a tour of North America this spring as planned.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the group preparing for the Dalai Lama’s visit received a letter this week that broke the news, a city spokesman said.

McFarlane had extended a formal invitation to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama during a visit last year to India. It was announced in May that Raleigh would be among the cities the Dalai Lama would visit in October during a tour of the United States. But in August, His Holiness said he was postponing his Raleigh visit until this April due to scheduling conflicts.

The Dalai Lama’s initial interest in visiting the region stemmed in part from an appreciation for scientific and health care research, McFarlane said in May.

In addition to his role as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is a political figure. He lives in India in exile from his native Tibet, which is under Chinese rule. From India, the Dalai Lama has become a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement.

Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan

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