Dalai Lama headlines Vancouver Peace Summit
Several Nobel Prize winners taking part
The Dalai Lama returns to Vancouver this weekend, the third visit to the city in five years by the exiled Tibetan spiritual and political leader.
The Dalai Lama is taking part in the Vancouver Peace Summit, which will feature the famous Buddhist in dialogue with a number of other well-known peace activists and politicians in a three-day public conference.
The event is being staged by a local organization, the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.
"I think he likes Vancouver," the centre's founding director, Victor Chan, told CBC News.
"I first brought him here in 2004, then a second time in 2006, and now here in 2009. That's the third time in five years. Not many cities can say that."
The events will take place at the Chan Centre, on the University of British Columbia's main campus, and at the Orpheum theatre in downtown Vancouver.
Most events have been sold out since tickets went on sale in June, although extra tickets were freed up during the past week. All major events at the conference will be streamed live online through the centre's website, said Chan.
"These are the people who actually walk the talk," Chan said of the conference participants.
"We have a very unusual combination of very compelling people who are leaders, who are great thinkers, but are also very hands-on, who make things happen, who actually make other people's lives much better. They save lives, essentially," said Chan.
Among the participants:
- Nobel Prize winners Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire, co-founders of Community of Peace People, an organization dedicated to promoting peace in Northern Ireland.
- Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams, founding co-ordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
- Mary Robinson, first female president of Ireland, serving from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.
- Kim Campbell, former Canadian prime minister.
- Murray Gell-Mann, a U.S. physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics.
- Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher and author of the bestselling book, The Power of Now.
- Stephen Covey, organizational consultant and author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Maria Shriver, journalist, activist and wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.