The Dalai Lama has accepted an invitation to return to Derry to celebrate the city’s status as the UK City of Culture for 2013.

The Tibetan Spiritual Leader will return to Ulster as guest of the Derry-based charity Children in Crossfire.

The Press Association reports that The Dalai Lama is patron of the charitable organisation.

His visit, during a planned tour of Northern Ireland, will coincide with a Culture of Compassion event at the Vital Venue in Ebrington.

Children in Crossfire promotes childhood care and development in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Director of Children in Crossfire Richard Moore said: “We are thrilled to welcome His Holiness back to Derry.

“He came to the city six years ago as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations and has been a dedicated patron of the charity since that time.

“We are delighted that people from across Northern Ireland and beyond will have an opportunity to see and hear him speak during this City of Culture year.

“We know that His Holiness is looking forward to returning to Northern Ireland and we hope to make this visit very special.”

The Dalai Lama will address the crowd at the event in April.

Moore added: “This event will be His Holiness’s only public speaking event during the visit.”