Dalai Lama representative confirms May visit

Spiritual leader to speak at Palace Theater

Albany Times-Union/April 15, 2009

The Joint Secretary in the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has confrmed that the Dalai Lama will visit Albany on May 6.

In an e-mail today to the Times Union, Tenzin Taklha said: "His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be giving a public talk on The Need for Spirituality in the 21st Century at the Albany Palace Theater on May 6."

The May visit has also been scheduled on the Dalai Lama's official Web site, which never happened for the aborted visit at the Times Union Center.

Taklha's e-mail confirms a news release Tuesday from the World Ethical Foundations Consortium that states "the Dalai Lama has quickly announced a new date for his rescheduled visit to Albany ... May 6, 2009."

Taklha did not provide further details of the visit or whether the Dalai Lama would appear elsewhere in the Capital Region in May. He said "please contact His Holiness' representative office in New York that is in charge of organizing all of His Holiness' visits to the Americas." for further details.

His e-mail did not mention by name the World Ethical Foundations Consortium, which is an initiative of the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation, whose co-founder, Clare Bronfman, recently asked Times Union Center general manager Bob Belber if the arena was available May 6, without specifying for what, he said.

Belber informed her the arena was booked that night (by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus) and suggested she contact Palace Theatre general manager Chris Gould.

"The efforts involved in clearing the Dalai Lama to come to Albany, there's a tremendous effort on everybody's behalf of welcoming somebody of his importance," Gould said Tuesday.

In a voicemail message, Bronfman said "we're delighted." According to the WEFC's press release, event details will be available "in the next few days."

On April 5, Taklha, a special assistant to the representative of the Dalai Lama in the New York-based Office of Tibet, had announced a previously scheduled April appearances in Albany by the Dalai Lama was cancelled, apparently because of negative publicity connected to the sponsoring organization.

"If they are rescheduled, I think that's good for the city to have an international figure such as the Dalai Lama come into Albany regardless of whether the appearance is at the arena or at the Palace," Belber said.

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