Crowds weather rain to meet Tibetan leader Dalai Lama
WELL-WISHERS waited patiently in the pouring rain to meet the Dalai Lama at the start of his visit to Scotland yesterday.
As a piper played outside the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh, Lord Provost Donald Wilson was the first to greet the Tibetan leader – with the traditional offering of a white silk scarf.
On a visit dogged by tales of politicians avoiding the issue of Tibet, the Edinburgh civic leader said his was unequivocally an “official” welcome.
He said the chance to meet His Holiness was “the highlight of my first month in office”.
The Dalai Lama bowed towards the crowds waiting beneath umbrellas, winked at the piper and gave a special greeting to Karma Tenzin, a monk from the Samye Ling monastery in Dumfriesshire.
Buddhist nun Ani Zangmo said: “We have been waiting a long time to meet him. He said ‘You have been here a long time you are cold’.”
The Tibetan leader also greeted Tegan Ross, from Kinross who had come to meet him on her 11th birthday.
Inside the hotel lobby the Dalai Lama was welcomed by fellow Tibetans, western Buddhists, representatives of other religions and old friends.
Businessman Sir Tom Farmer said: “I spent two or three days with him in India in Dharamsala.
“He is one of the great leaders of the world, he is a man who spreads the message we should respect our God and respect our fellow man.”
Hairdresser Charlie Miller said: “It is wonderful what he generates.
“Among the Tibetans was Changchub Mermesel, who has lived in Edinburgh since 2008. She said: “Someone like myself has been in exile since 1959 and many of us have lost our fathers. He is our father. He gives us guidance on the way to live our lives.
“To see him makes you feel elated and happy. We all get quite emotional and that happens every time we see him.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West