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Dalai Lama arrives in Ladakh, Chief Minister drives for him

August 12, 2009

August 10, 2009

Dharamsala, August 10 -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama today arrived on
a 20-day religious tour of Ladakh, a predominantly Buddhist region of
Jammu and Kashmir state.

Welcoming the Tibetan leader was Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his
cabinet colleagues and government officials. The Chief Minister took
the role of a chauffeur by driving the Tibetan leader in an official
vehicle from Bakula airport to Shiwai Gatsel, His Holiness' palace in

Large crowds of locals, including Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus with
flowers, incense and traditional well-wishing scarves (khatag) stood
on each side of the road to get a glimpse of the Tibetan leader on
his way to the palace.

After arriving at the palace, the Tibetan leader expressed his
gratitude to the Chief Minister for the hospitality his state has
offered. His Holiness also told Omar that he had a very friendly
relationship with his grandfather and founder of National Conference
Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and his father Farooq Abdullah.

The Tibetan leader will confer religious initiations and give
teachings in various places including Zanskar region. He will finish
his tour on August 29.
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