VOA Carries Dalai Lama Birthday Celebration Live

Tibetans around the world were able to watch live VOA coverage of the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday celebration in Washington Wednesday, as the spiritual leader made his first major speech since announcing he was stepping down as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Voice of America’s special two hour broadcast from the Verizon Center, which was carried live on radio, television and streamed on the Internet, included a 25-minute Tibetan language address by the Dalai Lama to the people of his homeland.

The Tibetan spiritual leader said he was proud to be giving up his political role. He said the transition to a newly-elected leader of the government-in-exile would “lead to a more stable system for Tibetans” that would last long after he was gone.

Thousands of people took part in Wednesday’s birthday celebration, including Martin Luther King II, the son of the late U.S. civil rights leader, and Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Indian resistance leader Mahatma Gandhi. The celebration marked the start of an elaborate 10-day Buddhist teaching and ritual ceremony known as a Kalachakra, or the “Wheel of Time”.

VOA’s special live broadcast of Wednesday’s ceremony is part of the multi-lingual coverage by U.S. international broadcasting including interviews scheduled next week with the Dalai Lama on Radio Free Asia and on VOA’s Mandarin Service.

Voice of America broadcasts in Tibetan on radio 6 hours a day, 7 days a week, and on Telelvision 2 hours a week. Programs are also available on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and through podcasts. VOA’s television program, “Kunleng,” can be seen “direct to home” on AsiaSat3, on the Internet and is simulcast on shortwave radio.

For more on VOA in English or in any of its language services, visit www.voanews.com.

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 123 million people.  Programs are produced in 44 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States.

For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail us at askvoa@voanews.com. Follow us on Twitter @VOABuzz and Facebook at InsideVOA.

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