Dalai Lama Begins Nigeria Visit

November 26th 2008

Lagos, Nigeria, 26 November 2008 (AFP) - The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived Wednesday in Nigeria on a private visit.

He flew to Lagos' Murtala Mohammed airport where he was greeted by an Indian diplomat and by representatives of the organisation that invited him, the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe foundation.

"He's just here from today to Friday. He's delivering the keynote address at the Anyiam-Osigwe lecture on Thursday. That's the main reason for his coming," said Charles Anyiam-Osigwe, a member of the foundation's board.

"It's a completely private visit to the foundation, primarily to discuss religion."

The foundation is keen to insist on the private nature of the visit as China frequently reacts angrily to foreign government officials meeting with the spiritual leader.

The foundation put in a request several years ago to have the Nobel peace laureate address one of its annual lectures, the Dalai Lama's representative in Africa Sonam Tenzing told AFP.

According to the organisers of the visit, the Dalai Lama will address journalists and then religious leaders on Friday morning before leaving.

Past guest speakers at the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe foundation annual lecture have included Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, former US vice-president Al Gore and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.


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