Dharamsala, April 18: South African anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Saturday reached this north Indian hill station to meet his long-time friend and fellow Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama. An official of the Dalai Lama’s office told IANS that Tutu would stay here till April 26 and will attend a series of functions being organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) here in his honour. Expressing a gesture of friendship, the Buddhist monk specially visited the Gaggal airport, 15 km from his official palace at McLeodganj, to receive Tutu in the morning. This has been Tutu’s second visit to the CTA headquarters in since 2012.
Officials said Tutu last visited McLeodganj on February 10, 2012, after the globe-trotting monk had called off his South Africa visit as it was “inconvenient” for the government there to grant him a visa as it had close ties with Chi. At that time the Dalai Lama was invited by Tutu on his 80th birthday. The two Nobel peace laureates will meet in Dharamsala later this month as well as marking the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, they will spend time “in deep dialogue and playful laughter as they share their experience of how to find joy in the face of life’s challenges”, said The Guardian on April 15, quoting publisher Hutchinson. It acquired the pair’s collaborative “The Book of Joy” in what the bookseller described as a “very spirited” 12-way auction.
Their discussion will form the basis of the text, with the pair - who call each other “spiritual brother” - also inviting members of the public to ask the questions about joy and happiness they most want answered on the authors’ Facebook pages. The most popular will be addressed during the meetings this April said the paper. The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since he fled Tibet during a failed uprising in 1959. He favours “greater autonomy” for Tibetans rather than complete independence. Chinese leaders have, however, called him a separatist who wants Tibet to secede from Chi. (IANS)