Dalai Lama Cancels US Visits in October on Medical Advice
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has canceled a series of public appearances in the United States planned for October on the advice of doctors following a medical check-up at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic last week, according to a statement from his office, although it did not give details about the state of the Dalai Lama’s health.
The official statement from his office dated 25 September said: “His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in the United States for a medical check-up. The doctors have advised His Holiness to rest for the next several weeks. As a result, His Holiness’ planned October US visit has been cancelled. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused by this decision and apologize to all the people who have worked so hard in organizing the visit as well as to the public.” (The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
The 80-year-old spiritual leader of Tibet had visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota—where he has made regular visits in recent years—for what his representatives described as a routine check-up. Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo confirmed that the Dalai Lama had been admitted to the clinic for evaluation, but was unable to provide further details.
Chime Rigzin, one of the Dalai Lama’s secretaries, said over the weekend that His Holiness had no health problems and planned to return to his official residence in Dharamsala, India, next Saturday.
The Dalai Lama’s health check-up came as Pope Francis concluded his first-ever visit to the US and as heads of state and diplomats gathered for the annual UN General Assembly in New York, where Chinese president Xi Jinping was due to make his UN debut as leader of China, which has ruled Tibet since Communist troops took over the Himalayan region in 1950.
The Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota announced that before leaving the US, the Dalai Lama would hold a private audience with members of Minnesota’s Tibetan community on Wednesday. His Washington representative Kaydor Aukatsang said no other public events were scheduled.
Smith College in Massachusetts said on Friday that the Dalai Lama had canceled appearances there and at the nearby Amherst College and University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The Dalai Lama’s planned visits next month also included the University of Colorado in Boulder and appearances in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“We’re certainly saddened by this news but we also hope the Dalai Lama’s health improves very quickly and someday he may be able to come to campus,” said University of Colorado spokesman Ryan Huff, adding that the visit had been planned for almost two years and that it would take a long time to arrange another one. (CBS News)
The Dalai Lama had also been scheduled to receive an award from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on 26 October. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dalai Lama as he recovers his strength,” said the center’s president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen, noting that officials were talking with the Dalai Lama’s office to see if a representative could accept the award on his behalf. (CBS News)
In August, the Tibetan government-in-exile headed by Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay announced that the 34th Kalachakra Empowerment ceremony slated for January 2016 in Bodh Gaya, India, had been postponed to 2017 due to the Dalai Lama’s busy itinerary.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Cancels October U.S. Visit (The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
Dalai Lama remains at Mayo clinic after canceling US events (The Guardian)
Dalai Lama to speak in front of audience in Rochester, Minn. (Fox 9 News)
Dalai Lama cancels US tour after doctors advise rest (Phayul.com)
Dalai Lama cancels October U.S. appearances for medical rest (CBS News)