The Dalai Lama, former ruler of Tibet, who fled to India 20 years ago after the Chinese takeover of his country, is planning his first visit to the United States next Monday.
The 44-year old spiritual and temporal leader is scheduled to arrive in New York on Labor Day and spend five days before embarking on a seven-week lecture tour of universities and Buddist centers.
In Washington, the Dalai Lama will give a public address at Constiution Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. Free tickets are available at the University of Maryland Student Union ticket office and, on the day of the lecture, at Constitution Hall.
On Sept. 11, he is scheduled for what is billed as "a private and unofficial" meeting with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee, hosted by Sen. Charles Percy (R-ILL).
The purpose of the Dalai Lama's visit according to the Office of Tibet, which is his registered lobbyist, is "to exchange ideas with prominent Americans, particularly scholars in religion, scientific technology, human rights and culture."
The State Department long has been cool to proposals that the Dalai Lama visit the United States.
The tourist visa is being granted only after it was agreed he would come as a religious leader, rather than as a leader-in-exile, and he will not be received by administration officials.
However, the State Department is hinting it is concerned that the visit, originally scheduled for last January, will coincide with the World Conference on Religion and Peace in Princeton, N.J., which is being attended by a 10-member delegation from the People's Republic of China.
The Dalai Lama will not attend the conference but he will be making news in New York where he will hold a press conference, meet with the National Council of Churches, which has been adding Tibetan refugees and be honored at an ecumenical service in St. Patrick Cathedral led by Cardinal Terence Cooke, Roman Catholic bishop of New York.
His cross-country tour will take him to several universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, Wisconsin, Michigan and California.
He also will address the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, a foreign policy forum, and a benefit dinner for Tibetan children in San Francisco.
In preparation for the visit, the Office of Tibet issued a summary of the Dalai Lama's comments on the problems facing today's society in which he calls for universal compassion and responsibility.
" . . . Many of our troubles are man-made, created by our own ignorance, greed, and irresponsible action. Many difficulties arise from ideological or even religious conflict and men fight each other for means or methods, losing sight of their human ends and goals.
" . . . I feel our problems, though grave and complex are within our power to control and rectify. The solution can only be based on an approach which trascends self and regional demands."
The Dalai Lama, referred to by his followers as His Holiness, was designated at the age of 2 as the 14th reincarnation of the founder of the Mahayana branch of Buddhism. At 15, he was named head of state.
The Chinese have invaded Tibet off and on from the early 1700s. In 1959, the capital city of Llhasa unsuccessfully staged a rebellion against the latest Chinese occupation and the Dalai Lama, with 100,000 supporters fled to India.
He has appealed to the United Nations to recognize Tibet's sovereignty and has called for a U.N.-supervised plebiscite to determine whether Tibet's 1.7 million people want to remain under Chinese rule.
In recent months, there have been reports that Peking has moderated its religious and ethnic policies and allowed Jokang Temple and two monastaries to reopen to the public.
The final group of prisoners from the Llhasa uprising were released last March and the government has announced that $5 million in reparations will be paid to 2,500 Tibetans whose property was taken over in 1959.