Our Views: Dalai Lama to visit New Orleans

While the adherents of Tibetan Buddhism may be relatively few, people of every creed in the United States are among the admirers of the Dalai Lama. We welcome the news that the Nobel Peace Prize winner will visit New Orleans next year.

The Buddhist spiritual leader, 77, plans public speaking engagements — profits from ticket sales to go to charity — as well as accepting an honorary degree from Tulane University.

For more than a decade, Ronald Marks, dean of Tulane University’s School of Social Work, which is sponsoring the Dalai Lama’s trip, has been conducting a graduate social work class in north India. Students work with the Tibetan refugee population and with the Louisiana Himalaya Association, a local social service organization that provides services to Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala and in surrounding villages throughout north India.

This visit is a celebration of those connections with Louisiana, but also allows our state to demonstrate its solidarity with a freedom fighter, albeit one who practices nonviolent resistance to the increasingly repressive Chinese occupation of Tibet.

We welcome the Dalai Lama and applaud Tulane’s role in bringing his message to New Orleans and Louisiana.