New Year's Plans of World Leaders

Meditation to ballroom dancing on tap for the elite and powerful

There will be dancing and there will be quiet reflection for world leaders this New Year. The year 2000 means something to different to everyone and that is certainly reflected in the holiday plans for everyone ranging from the Pope to the president.

Those deciding to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve include the Pope John Paul, Desmond Tutu and The Dalai Lama. On the party side you will find President Clinton and Barbara Streisand.

Pope John Paul will begin his evening delivering a message to the world’s one Billion Catholics from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The 79-year old Pope will then retreat to a private chapel to pray. The Dalai Lama will spend the New Year in much the same way he spends his life, in meditation. On January 1 he will make a public statement about the Year 2000 from the Buddhist town of Sarnath.

More quiet evenings are planned for three men who played a major role in the end to apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela will have an evening of reflection and celebration. Mandela will return to his Robben Island prison for a bit of quiet reflection followed by a party with 500 guests. F. W. de Klerk, the man who freed him from 27 years in jail, will be on a cruise to Antarctica. Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be holding a prayer vigil in Washington's National Cathedral.

For President Clinton it will be one party after another this New Year’s Eve. The President has invited big names in Hollywood and in politics for several celebrations at the White House. Those in attendance will have a black-tie dinner inside with the President and then head outside for a fireworks and movie extravaganza at the Lincoln Memorial. The party won’t end there. After the fireworks and a world-premier show by Steven Spielberg ,it will be back inside the White House for a ballroom dance which is expected to continue well into New Year’s day.

Source: Reuters

DATE: 12/21/99

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