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Despite 'threat' Utah leaders meet with Dalai Lama

Despite 'threat' Utah leaders meet with Dalai Lama (Photo: KUTV)
Despite 'threat' Utah leaders meet with Dalai Lama (Photo: KUTV)
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(KUTV) His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd today at the University of Utah. He also met with many of Utah's top leaders, including the governor, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Salt lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

This despite a "warning' from a Weber State professor.

Taowen Le, who helped broker a relationship between Utah and China, wrote a letter to Utah leaders suggesting that meeting with His Holiness might not be a good idea, and that meeting with the Dalai Lama, " would be inevitably interpreted in ways that would jeopardize Utah's relations with China."

Utah's House and Senate said in a statement Tuesday that the state's friendship does not mean giving up core values such as freedom of speech.

Biskupski took it one step further, meeting the Dalai Lama at the airport along with fellow mayor McAdams. Biskupski, who says she takes much of her leadership skills from the teaching of the Dalai Lama, said the brief encounter was moving.

"I was weeping from the experience," said Biskupski, who met His Holiness, while grasping a copy of his book, "Ethics for the New Millennium."

She said the Dalai Lama took time to honor her emotions during the meeting.

"My emotions brought us together and we touched heads. I was still emotional, so he took my hand again and when he turned to walk away, there's a picture of us, and I'm just looking at his hand and I was surprised that he reached out again, so it was just lovely."

She said the letter from Le is inappropriate.

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"You know it's so unfortunate because messages like that really drive a wedgem" she said. "I think really, truly the message around this world needs to be driven by peace."

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