By Rodney S. Yap
The Dalai Lama arrived Friday in Honolulu for this weekend’s “Pillars of Peace Hawaii: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha.”
The Oahu event is a community peace-building program sponsored by the Hawaii Community Foundation with funding from the Omidyar Ohana Fund.
The Tibetan spiritual leader is also expected to attend private meetings with native Hawaiian community leaders and others organizations. The Dalai Lama has scheduled appearances at today’s “Educating the Heart,” an event for students only, and Sunday’s “Advancing Peace Through the Power of Aloha,” which is open to the public.
On Friday, after fighting rush-hour traffic on the H-1 Freeway, the Dalai Lama arrived at the Honolulu hotel where he is staying and was welcomed to the 50th state by Kamehameha trustees Corbett Kalama and Douglas Ing, chief executive officer Dee Jay Mailer, principal Julian Ako and a group of seniors from Kamehameha Kapalama’s concert glee club and hula halau.
Regarded as a international symbol of peace and compassion, the 14th Dalai Lama was born Tenzin Gyatso. He escaped Tibet in 1959 following the Chinese suppression of an uprising in Lhasa and has spent the last 53 years in exile in Dharamsala, India. Considered a champion of human rights and cultural preservation, Gyatso was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his ongoing, nonviolent struggle to liberate Tibet.