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Dalai Lama To Address California Legislature Monday

Manuel Balce Ceneta / File / AP

FILE - In this June 13, 2016 file photo, the Dalai Lama waves during an event at American University in Washington.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / File / AP

The Dalai Lama will visit the California Capitol Monday and speak to a joint session of the state Legislature.

The Tibetan spiritual leader arrived in the U.S. last week, starting in Washington, DC. His visit to the White House drew criticism from China, which considers the Dalai Lama a political exile rather than a religious figure because he advocates for Tibetan independence.

Now, after several public appearances over the weekend in Orange County, the Dalai Lama is visiting the California Capitol.

Here, too, the politics are sensitive: Gov. Jerry Brown has worked to expand California’s relationship with China. He led a trade mission there in 2013 and met with China’s president in Seattle last fall.

Democratic legislative leaders say the Dalai Lama will discuss “compassion, the environment and ethical leadership” when he speaks to lawmakers Monday afternoon.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio