Dalai Lama speaks to crowd at UCSD Rimac field

Posted at 11:24 AM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 20:37:51-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV)--The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of 25,000 people at the University of California, San Diego Friday on his 2017 U.S. tour.

Friday was the first of two local appearances for the Dalai Lama, said UC San Diego spokeswoman Christine Clark.

WATCH LIVE on the ABC10News Facebook page.

The Dalai Lama's speech was titled "Embracing the Beauty of Diversity in Our World," according to UC San Diego.  He shared a message about personal issues, such as the need to forgive and the importance of smiling.

10News spoke to him at a news conference shortly before his public speech and asked him about his chief environmental concern for the United States.  The Dalai Lama mentioned water shortages as a problem.

He also spoke about UC San Diego students from China's mainland who were opposed to his visit.  "That's normal," he said.

10News monitored the protest in the university's designated free-speech zone near Rimac field.  Fewer than 10 representatives of a Tibetan group were present.  They said they do not support the Dalai Lama, claiming he does not provide religious freedom for everyone in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama will also speak at UC San Diego's commencement Saturday morning.  His speech, "The Value of Education, Ethics and Compassion for the Well-Being of Self and Others" will be presented to graduates of all colleges.

Traffic is expected to be heavy near UC San Diego on Friday and Saturday.  Check conditions HERE.

The hot weather will also continue through the weekend.  10News Meteorologist Megan Parry is monitoring the conditions.