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His Holiness the Dalai Lama leaves for Gaggal airport, June 11, 2017. The Tibetan leader is scheduled to give a public talk on "Embracing the Beauty of Diversity in our World" at the University of California San Diego on June 16, 2017. Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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UC San Diego rejects Chinese students’ call to disinvite Dalai Lama
[Friday, February 17, 2017 18:31]
By Tenzin Monlam

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla of UC San Diego. Photo- The Triton /file
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla of UC San Diego. Photo- The Triton /file
DHARAMSHALA, FEB 17: The Chancellor of University of California San Diego has rejected the protest of Chinese student associations of cancelling invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader as the commencement speaker at the university.

Staying adamant to his original decision during his meeting with the Chinese Union, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) and the Chinese Business Society, the Indian-origin Chancellor, however, assured them that the Dalai Lama’s speech would be apolitical.

“The university said that they would not disinvite the Dalai Lama but will stop using words like 'freedom fighter' and 'spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people' to describe him," Fan Da (pseudonym), a member of the Chinese Union told Global Times, a Chinese state-run daily.

During an hour long meeting with the associations, the Chancellor ‘promised that the Dalai Lama would not include any political content in his speech’ and the university would soon publish a notice about the issue.

According to Fan, there are uncertainties over what actions the students would take to continue their protests even after the appeasement from the university’s authority.

The university’s acknowledgement of the 81-old leader as ‘the exiled spiritual head and leader of the Tibetan people’ in its announcement has also infuriated the associations which had denounced the authority’s decision to invite the Dalai Lama as the commencement speaker.

The university earlier in the month announced that the Dalai Lama would grace the graduation ceremony to deliver the commencement address on June 17 sparking protest from various Chinese student associations.

The Dalai Lama will also be giving public talk on June 16 at UC San Diego’s RIMAC Field.

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