Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is likely to skip the Himalayan International Festival being organised by the Himachal Pradesh tourism department to commemorate silver jubilee of Nobel Peace Prize to the head monk of Tibetan Buddhism.
The festival, which is slated for December 10-11, has been resumed almost after a decade and coincides with the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to be held in Rome on December 12-14.
The world summit, which was earlier scheduled at Cape Town in October, has been relocated after South Africa denied visa to the spiritual leader.
Officials at Dalai Lama’s private office at Dharamsala said: “His Holiness would be attending the World Peace Summit in Rome. His arrival at the Himalayan International Festival is not confirmed as he is leaving for Rome before the fest.”
The officials said they would be considering the matter this week and try to find a way so that the Dalai Lama could attend the fest, but attending the world summit was a must. “It is now confirmed that he will be attending the world summit,” said the officials.
The Himalayan Festival was started in early 90s to commemorate the awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama, who has made Mcelodganj, suburb of Dharamsala town, his home after coming into exile.
The fest was closed in 2004 due to financial constraints.
Meanwhile, Vijai Singh Mankotia, senior Congress leader and vice-chairman of the tourism development board, who has played key role in reviving the fest, has also made correspondences with the office of the Dalai Lama.
The fest is also likely to be attended by chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his cabinet colleagues, as the government will be at Dharamsala for the winter session of the legislative assembly.
The tourism department has invited cultural troupes from Buddhist following countries such as Japan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Russia to perform at the fest commencing on December 10 — the day the Dalai Lama received the coveted prize in 1989.
The key attraction at the fest will be a workshop on only monolithic monument in the state — the Masrur rock cut temple, which was built in the 10the century.