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Dalai Lama meeting in Rochester with local Tibetans

In this file photo, the Dalai Lama celebrates the Tibetan New Year with over 2,000 people at Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 2014.
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The Dalai Lama, the exiled Buddhist leader of Tibet, will meet with several members of Minnesota's Tibetan community Wednesday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester.

The president and board members of the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota will be among the group attending the 9 a.m. meeting, which is not open to the public. A full list of who will attend has not been released.

The Dalai Lama's office said Minnesota Tibetans initiated the meeting by requesting a chance to see him while he was receiving medical treatment in the state. The office said the Dalai Lama wanted to meet the Tibetans and found an opening in his schedule. The office said the event will only last between 30 and 45 minutes.

The 80-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate canceled a planned October visit to the U.S. at the advice of doctors following a medical checkup this week, his office said in a statement on Friday, according to the Guardian newspaper and the Associated Press.

The statement said doctors had urged him to rest for several weeks, though it gave no indication that he was ill nor details about his state of health.


On Sunday, Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo confirmed to media that the Dalai Lama remained at the clinic for evaluation but said she could offer no further details about his stay.

The Dalai Lama's India-based secretary, Tenzin Taklha, said in an email last week the Dalai Lama was going to Mayo for an annual medical checkup but was not ill.

The University of Colorado says it has been informed the Dalai Lama has canceled U.S. appearances next month after a checkup at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The school said the Office of Tibet in Washington, D.C., which represents the Dalai Lama in North America, said doctors advised the 80-year-old holy leader to rest and that he would return to India.

The Dalai Lama makes regular visits to Rochester for medical care. When he was in Rochester in 2012, he spoke to a gathering of Mayo Clinic officials and employees and gave a CNN interview to Piers Morgan. In 2006, the Dalai Lama spoke to about 250 Mayo employees. In 2008, he presented at a day-long symposium at Mayo. In 2009, he spoke to hundreds of Tibetans who gathered at the Saint Marys Hospital chapel.

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