Dalai Lama’s talk aired to all city pupils

The Dalai Lama meets schoolchildren on his visit to the Capital in 2004
The Dalai Lama meets schoolchildren on his visit to the Capital in 2004
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PUPILS from all Edinburgh schools are set to have a speech by the Dalai Lama broadcast into their classrooms during his visit to the Capital.

The youngsters will listen to the words of His Holiness on the theme of “beyond religion: ethics for a whole world” as he gives a public lecture in the Usher Hall.

Eight city pupils will be chosen to get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask questions of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, during the event, while 120 others will be invited to witness his speech in person.

The talk will take place during the Dalai Lama’s two-day visit to Edinburgh on June 21 and 22 as part of a wider UK tour, which will also see him visit Manchester, London, Inverness and Dundee.

During his short stay in the Capital, His Holiness will attend a private viewing of archive material relating to Tibet during a visit to the National Library of Scotland and will also meet with religious leaders from across Scotland at the Scottish Parliament.

His speech in the Usher Hall, which will take place on June 22, will mark the 20th anniversary of The Edinburgh Lectures and will be the highlight of a five-month series of talks, which were launched today.

Questions penned by pupils will be selected by a panel and eight lucky youngsters will get the chance to pose them directly to His Holiness while every other pupil in the Capital watches from their classrooms.

And discussions have started to arrange for the speech to be broadcast online through the Glow system – the world’s first national intranet for education.

Victor Spence, co-ordinator of the Dalai Lama’s visit in Scotland, said: “We are in discussions about the broadcasting of the talk using the Glow system.”

The National Library of Scotland will provide His Holiness with a private viewing of items relating to Tibet, his current base in India and medicine – a personal interest.

Martyn Wade, national librarian and chief executive of the National Library of Scotland, said: “We look forward to showcasing items from our collections which we are confident will be of great interest to him.”

The Scottish visit has been organised by Mr Spence and the Edinburgh Inter Faith Association and marks his fifth visit to Scotland over the past 20 years, with the most recent visit being in November 2005.

Rabbi David Rose, co-convener of The Edinburgh Inter Faith Association and co-chair of The Conference of Edinburgh’s Religious Leaders, said: “As a beacon of tolerance, common sense and morality in our world, this pre-eminent religious leader does us a great honour in again gracing our city.”

Lord Provost George Grubb added: “This will be a monumental occasion for the city and a truly special way to mark the 20th anniversary of The Edinburgh Lectures series.”

A police spokesman said “an appropriate policing response” would be in place for the visit.

gfraser@edinburghnews.com