A piece of cake for the Dalai Lama on Scots trip? Consider it a Dun deal

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THE Dalai Lama is to be presented with a Dundee cake sent by that city's Lord Provost after it was revealed he developed a taste for it on his last trip to Scotland.

After hearing of his fondness for the rich fruit cake, Dundee's civic leader is to send a special cake to the Buddhist spiritual leader when he arrives in Edinburgh later this week.

The Lord Provost of the City of Discovery decided that it was only right that a cake from the city which first created the delicacy should be presented to such a special fan as His Holiness.

The Dalai Lama, 70, is the religious and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, and as such follows a strict regime and diet which means he enjoys a hearty breakfast and a main meal at lunch, with only a small snack in the evening, leaving plenty of time for prayer and meditation.

His last visit to Scotland gave him a taste for the traditional Scottish fruit cake, which is made with a mixture of almonds, raisins, sultanas and orange peel.

Dundee's Lord Provost John Letford said: "I am delighted that a figure as revered throughout the world as the Dalai Lama is fond of one of Dundee's most famous products, and on behalf of the City of Discovery we would like him to enjoy his favourite snack whilst he is in Scotland."

During the three-day trip to the Capital, the Dalai Lama will address public meetings, meet local politicians, and take part in a debate on ethics in the new millennium.

The 14th incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, His Holiness is visiting Edinburgh following a trip to the United States, where he is expected to meet with President Bush in Washington.

In Edinburgh he will meet Lord Provost Lesley Hinds and visit Our Dynamic Earth, before giving a keynote address on "warm heartedness" at the Leading the Way on Positive Education conference being held at Edinburgh University's Pollock Halls.

He will also take part in a discussion on Ethics in the New Millennium at the Usher Hall and attend a Cross-Party Group on Tibet meeting at the Scottish Parliament and the closing ceremony of the fourth World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet at the City Chambers.

The cake was delivered to Edinburgh this week and will be presented to the Dalai Lama on Friday.

Victor Spence, of the Inter-Faith Association, which is organising the trip, said: "He is a big fan of Dundee cake.

"He will be very grateful for the gift, undoubtedly, and he'll no doubt be pleased to hear that there will be Dundee Cake waiting for him.

"I think he'll probably find it all quite amusing as well. His representatives, or ambassadors, are all in the city at the moment for a meeting, a rare event in itself as it generally only happens in India.

"They had all heard about the story, and one of them pointed out that it had now appeared on websites all over India.

"The city of Dundee is certainly building up an impressive amount of good karma by presenting this gift to His Holiness.

"Given the international attention this is receiving and its effect on people's opinion on Scotland, we should be glad he chose Dundee cake and not deep-fried Mars bars as his snack of choice."