By Choekyi Lhamo
The octogenarian Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be making a visit to Sikkim on October 28, Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs of Sikkim Sonam Lama said Wednesday. A delegation from the Sikkim government led by Lama called upon the Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamshala on Sept. 14.
The delegation including Lama and department secretary Passang D. Phempu met the Buddhist leader and delivered a letter from Chief Minister P. S. Tamang inviting him to Sikkim, to which the Dalai Lama agreed. “I am joyful that His Holiness accepted the invitation to visit our state. His benign presence will be a great privilege for the devotees to seek his blessings,” Sikkim CM Prem Singh Tamang said.
The Dalai Lama accepting the invitation expressed his keen desire to visit Sikkim, which he said has always been dear to him, Minister Sonam Lama told the press. The representatives said that the octogenarian leader expressed gratitude for the five-day visit invitation and enquired about the well-being of the Sikkimese people.
The Nobel laureate had last visited the state of Sikkim in 2010; the Dalai Lama was scheduled to visit in 2018 but it was cancelled due to his health concerns.
The exiled Buddhist leader’s last trip was to Ladakh where he gave a three-day teaching at the end of July. The teaching in Ladakh marked His Holiness’ first visit to the region since 2019. According to the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s website, the Tibetan leader’s next scheduled event online is set from Oct. 3 to 5 for a three-day teachings on tsema namdrel (Dharmakirti’s Commentary on the Valid Cognition) in Dharamshala at the request of the Taiwanese devotees.