Dalai Lama Begins US Visit

Amid Tibet, Olympic turmoil, Seattle peace conference first stop for spiritual leader
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 6:00 PM CDT
Surrounded by Japanese plain-clothes police officers, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, left, greets well-wishers on his departure from Narita International Airport, east of Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, Tatsushi Iijima)
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(Newser) – The Dalai Lama arrived in Seattle today to begin a five-day series of speeches and workshops on peace and compassion, the Seattle Times reports. He told a group of Tibetan supporters at the airport that he was saddened by yesterday's protests in San Francisco surrounding the Olympic torch, and reiterated his support for August's Beijing Games.

Some 150,000 people are expected to commune with the Lama at various venues, the Times forecasts (noting the traffic snarls sure to ensue). The highlight should be Saturday's speech at open-air Qwest Field before a sellout 55,000; 8,600 are booked for tomorrow night's panel discussion at KeyArena, to be followed by a concert from fellow panelist Dave Matthews.