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The Dalai Lama thanks the audience during Friday’s event sponsored by The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values. His Holiness discussed the implications of global warming with a panel of professors from MIT and Harvard, followed by a conversation with middle and high school students in the SPARK program.

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Dalai Lama visits MIT to discuss global challenges, draws protests

The Dalai Lama visited MIT’s Kresge Auditorium last Friday to participate in a panel discussion about how individuals can address major societal issues such as global warming and food security, The Boston Globe reported.

The visit was marked by protests against the Dalai Lama’s alleged ban on prayers to Dorje Shugden, a controversial Buddhist entity. The protesters were led by the International Shugden Community, a California-based organization.

A crowd of counter-protesters in support of the Dalai Lama handed out fliers claiming that the opposition group was supported by the Chinese government, the Associated Press reported.

The panel included professors from MIT and Harvard, such as Marshall Ganz from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Deborah Ancona from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

The discussion was organized by the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, which last hosted the Dalai Lama in October 2012. The Dalai Lama also participated in events at the Citi Performing Arts Wang Theatre, the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel, and TD Garden during his visit to Boston, according to the Associated Press.

—Rohan Banerjee