The Buddhist leader has come to Sweden to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Swedish aid charity Individuell Människohjälp (IM) and will on Wednesday give a lecture at the Malmö Live conference centre.
The charity was founded to help Jewish refugees in 1938, but from 1964 it began to help the Tibetan people escape famine and oppression imposed by communist China, working with Tibetan refugees in India.
Jamyang Choedon, chairman of the Tibetan Community in Sweden, travelled to Malmö to meet the exiled Tibetan leader.
“I have met him several time before and he stands as an example to all of us,” he told Swedish broadcaster SVT. “Most of the exiled Tibetans in Europe live in Switzerland. In Sweden, we are 151 people so we are quite a small group.”
The visit comes despite the 83-year-old leader’s previous assertion that his last trip to Sweden, in 2011, could be his last. Then, he said he planned shortly to retire, reversing a long-standing custom of the Dalai Lama remain the leader of Tibetan Buddhism until his death.
“I think it is time for a change. I will freely end this 400-year-old tradition,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper at the time.
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But these plans have come to nothing and on Wednesday morning the Dalai Lama will give a lecture on how to create a happier and more peaceful society, followed by a two-way interview with the Swedish TV presenter and former Eurovision Song Contest host Kattis Ahlström.
After visiting Sweden, he will visit Rotterdam in Netherlands and Darmstadt in Germany, before spending three days in Switzerland.