By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, October 9: Hollywood actor and a long-time supporter of Tibetan cause Richard Gere will participate in the special ceremony to award the 2015 Liberty Medal on October 26 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on behalf of the Tibetan leader who earlier cancelled his trip to United States after doctors advised him to rest.
Accompanying the Philadelphia-born actor is Dr. Thupten Jinpa, Principal English Translator to the Dalai Lama and Dr. Richie Davidson, Founder and Chair of the Mind and Life Institute will receive the award on his behalf.
However, the organizer has chosen to go ahead with the ceremony.
Kaydor Aukatsang, the Representative of the Dalai Lama to North America, will also be in attendance.
Despite the absence of His Holiness, the Tibetan community, in and around Philadelphia, plans to celebrate the occasion with traditional dance and October 27 will be celebrated as ‘Compassion Day’ in honor of the Tibetan leader.
“His Holiness conveys the message of compassion and philanthropy all the time. So the Town’s municipality has agreed to celebrate the compassion day and we will have a small gathering in front of the Town Hall,” Losang Samten, Spiritual Director of Tibetan Buddhist Center, Philadelphia told VOT.
According to Ven. Losang Samten, they are expecting around 3,000 people to attend the ceremony which the Governor of Pennsylvania is also expected to attend.
The Tibetan leader had been scheduled to speak at events in Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Utah. He was to deliver a lecture to students and faculty at the University of Colorado on October 20 and Buddhist teaching the following day.
The Salt Lake City visit from October 17-19 included an invitation to a World Relations Conference, a public talk at the University of Utah and a dedication of the new Tibetan Association Community Center.