Dalai Lama to give speech in Santa Clara today

SANTA CLARA, Calif.

The Dalai Lama, a 78-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his quest to liberate his native Tibet from China, will be speaking about ethics in business at the 10 a.m. event at Santa Clara University's Leavey Event Center.

A group of protesters had already gathered shortly before 8 a.m. outside the building to protest what they say is the Dalai Lama's persecution and banning of Tibetan-exiles who make prayers to the Buddhist deity Dorje Shugden.

"He's enforcing a ban that affects millions of people," said Len Foley, 46, spokesman for the group International Shugden Community.

"We want the Dalai Lama to end this discrimination, to end this religious abuse," Foley said.

The group said about 200 people are expected to come out today to the protests, which are taking place across El Camino Real from the event because university officials have banned the protesters from campus.

The group held signs up this morning saying "Dalai Lama Stop Lying" and "Dalai Lama Give Religious Freedom."

The Dalai Lama's visit to Santa Clara will wrap up three days of public events in the Bay Area. He also attended events in San Francisco on Saturday and Berkeley on Sunday.

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