Apr 13, 2012

Tibet: Dalai Lama to Meet Hawaiian Leaders

In a follow up to his 2008 visit, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will arrive in Hawaii on 13 April 2012 to give a number of public speeches on the topics of tolerance and perseverance, and the role of peace and compassion in daily life. He will also participate in a panel discussion with Native Hawaiian business, political and community leaders during his visit.

Below is an article published by the Republican:

The Dalai Lama will talk to students and participate in a panel discussion with Native Hawaiian leaders during a visit to Honolulu this weekend.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also will tour several Native Hawaiian cultural sites, though his hosts are unable to disclose which ones in advance for security reasons.

His trip is funded by a grant that eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, made to the Hawaii Community Foundation, and he is visiting at the couple's invitation.

The Dalai Lama will speak to students about tolerance and perseverance Saturday [14 April 2012]. The next day, he will talk to the public about the role of peace and compassion in everyday life. Both talks will be streamed live online at pillarsofpeacehawaii.org, as will the panel discussion.

Writer and master hula teacher Pualani Kanahele will join him on the panel, as will Nainoa Thompson, who has been at the forefront of a revival in traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian navigation of the seas. The panel also will include business, political and community leaders.

John DeFries, who will moderate, said Hawaii's value of aloha is aligned with the Dalai Lama's values of compassion and tolerance.

"At the heart of this is, we have two native cultures — that of Tibet and that of Hawaii. We'll have an opportunity, through this panel, to be able to explore what it is we have in common as native cultures and what it is we have that are unique because of the different regions we live in," he said.

Jonathan Osorio, a professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii, said he's looking forward to hearing the conversation, given the panelists' knowledge and their connections to their ancestors, spirits and the land.

He also hopes the participants will address how both their cultures have been dominated by large powers — China in Tibet's case and the United States in Hawaii's.

"Both groups of people represent cultures and civilizations and peoples and nations that are essentially held in captive by others," Osorio said.

It's the Dalai Lama's first visit to Hawaii since 2008, when he went to Maui. He's arriving Friday [13 April 2012] and will leave Tuesday [17 April 2012].

The Omidyars plan to invite other global leaders to Hawaii in the future as part of a series they're calling Pillars of Peace Hawaii. But Hawaii Community Foundation CEO Kelvin Taketa said the foundation hasn't had a chance to discuss who might come and when.