(TibetanReview.net, Jun26, 2017) – US Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minnesota State Senator Carolyn Laine were among the prominent people who delivered addresses at the Dalai Lama’s public meeting with members of the Tibetan Community of Minnesota state in the Minneapolis Convention Center on Jun 24. Mayor Hodges had earlier proclaimed Jun 24 as ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama day of Peace and Compassion’ in Minneapolis. Also, Mayor Chris Coleman of state capitol St Paul had proclaimed the day as ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama Day’ in his city. And Mayor Donna Schmitt of Columbia Heights, which has the largest Tibetan settlement in the state, presented to the Dalai Lama a book of prayers and good wishes people in her city had submitted.
McCollum had visited Tibet in 2015 and later Dharamshala a month back in bipartisan Congressional delegations led by the US House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Recalling her visit to Tibet in 2015, McCollum said, “I saw the mountains, filled my lungs with the pure air and encountered the warmth of the Tibetan people—but they are not free. It’s past time for the Chinese to lift restrictions on religious freedom and cease violations of human rights. I received a letter from the Chinese consulate pressuring me not to meet with you, Your Holiness. I urge Congress and the people of the USA to stand with the Tibetan people. China is a powerful country, no doubt, but the USA is powerful too and free.”
Several local council members added their greetings.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, an ardent supporter of the Tibetan cause, as well as Congressman Keith Ellison, being unable to attend the meeting, sent representatives to extend their greetings and offers of continued friendship and support.
And the Dalai Lama, after delivering his speech, led the audience through a brief ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta, explaining that the purpose of life is to be of service to others. He then gave the transmission of the Praise to Manjushri and his mantra.
The Dalai Lama later flew to Boston.