The Dalai Lama will visit Canada and the United States from April 12 to May 6, 2004, to give a major Buddhist teaching and participate in a conference on Tibet and the Contemporary World.

This is the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Canada since 1993 and comes after a new Prime Minister has taken office in Ottawa.

In 1993, prior to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Canada, Howard Balloch, a senior official in the External Affairs office informed a parliamentary committee on Tibet on the nature of the Canadian Government’s attitude towards the Dalai Lama.

“He will be accorded the special treatment that in the past has been reserved for an exceedingly small number of foreign, political or religious leaders,” Balloch said, according to the Globe and Mail of June 9, 1993. Subsequently, Barbara McDougal, Canada’s Minister for External Affairs, met the Dalai Lama.

During this visit the Dalai Lama will give the sacred Kalachakra Initiations in Toronto and also give the keynote address at a two-day academic conference, Tibet and the Contemporary World, to be held at University of British Columbia on April 19 and 20, 2004.

“In a time of great crisis, the Dalai Lama is a remarkable voice for peace, security and harmony between people,” said Dr. Pitman Potter, Director of the Institute of Asian Research at UBC, said in a statement. “We look forward to this rare honour to share in his company and exchange ideas,” Potter added.