Tibet Related News
DHARAMSHALA: President Ian Khama of Botswana yesterday promised to re-invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the country after the Tibetan spiritual leader withdrew from a scheduled conference in the capital Gaborone citing exhaustion.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama was scheduled to attend a Mind and Life conference in Gaborone from 17- 19 August 2017. The scheduled visit attracted media attention particularly in the host country owing to China’s unwarranted reaction and assertion of pressure on the President to rescind the invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It also reignited discussions on sovereignty of the nation, which got its independence in 1966 from being a British protectorate.
In the lead up to the conference, an exchange of veiled, indirect attacks and counter-attacks between the two countries unfolded, as China accused Botswana of violating a policy in which China views His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s activities as secessionist.
Botswana, however, argued that the invitation was made by a private organisation and is in line with the country’s sovereign right to open its doors to whomever it wishes.
DR VENSON-MOITOI, Minister of Botswana International affairs, have stated in the Botswana parliament that, as a democratic and sovereign state, Botswana has a prerogative to decide who to allow into its territory, based on her immigration regulations.
“Essentially, this is a matter that falls within the domestic jurisdiction of Botswana,” he said in response to a question in the parliament.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama however cancelled the scheduled visit citing exhaustion, temporarily thawing the relation between the two countries.
His Holiness thanked and praised President Khama for his ‘unwavering stand’ despite ‘overwhelming pressure’ and apologised for the last minute withdrawal, promising to visit the country when an opportunity arises.
President Khama said that Bostwana is not China’s colony and said he will be organising a conference of global Nobel Peace Prize laureates for Gaborone and would invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama again to attend the conference.
“I’m working on hosting a summit of Nobel Peace laureates here in Botswana and to this end, I hope His Holiness will be able to come to Botswana then,” he said on 17 August.
Ahead of the conference, President Khama has also given an interview to a local weekly in which he accused Beijing of attempting to intimidate and pressure him into turning His Holiness the Dalai Lama away.
“They (Chinese officials) spoke to anybody under the sun to try undermine this government. They were using time to get to Ministers, Members of Parliament and my own relatives, everybody you can think of to try and prevent the Dalai Lama coming here,” he has told the Botswana Guardian.
Under its ‘One-China’ policy, China is annoyed with any country that welcomes His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Botswana’s relentless stance against China on His Holiness the Dalai Lama has greatly dismayed China with the latter issuing veiled threats of economic repercussions.
Scrambling to stop Botswana from opening its doors to the Tibetan spiritual leader, China has successfully made a fool of itself over a spat with a small nation of just over two million people. Perhaps, as His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in his video message, smaller nations sometimes have more potential to stand up against injustice perpetrated by a bigger power.
President Khama was born in England after his father Seretse Khama was exiled from his own country and has personally experienced life in exile.
Taipei, TAIWAN: Geshe Jampal Chozin, the religious teacher at the Taiwan Office of Tibet, today released a new Chinese book featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s talks to college students in India and across the globe.
The book published by the Taiwan Office of Tibet is a collection of complete Chinese translation of nine recent talks delivered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama covering a wide range of topics.
While inaugurating the book, Geshe Jampal Jampal Chozin thanked the volunteer translators of His Holiness’ talks and expressed his hope that such books will be of great benefit to the youth in the Chinese speaking world.
Every year, the Taiwan Office of Tibet publishes at least one book of 5,000 copies each, comprising complete Chinese translation of His Holiness’ talks to various audiences covering different topics.
The Office, thus far, has published 15 such books, which were distributed free to the interested people in Taiwan as well as those in Hong Kong and China.
In addition, the Snowland Publications, managed by the Office of Tibet, also publishes Chinese books related with Tibetan history, religion and culture, which are readily available for purchase at all the major bookstores in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The Snowland Publication is the only publication house in this world that exclusively publishes books related with Tibet in Chinese, said Representative Dawa Tsering following the inaugural ceremony.
Since 2010, the Snowland Publication has published 27 books, out of which, six were published in the last fiscal year.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Taiwan-
qz.com – 18 August 2017
Botswana president wants you to know that he is not intimidated by China. Ian Khama, president of the diamond-rich nation of less than two million people, stood up to the global power over the Dalai Lama’s planned visit to his county this week.
“We are not your colony,” was the money quote of Khama’s account of his diplomatic standoff with China in recent weeks.
The Dalai Lama was set to visit the capital Gaborone for Aug. 17 to 19, as part of what Botswana officials dubbed a “purely private” visit organized by the NGO Mind and Life Institute and the Botho University. Still, Khama was set to meet with the spiritual leader, riling the Chinese.
“They told me things like the ambassador may be recalled, it would damage relations between Botswana and China that they would as China engage other African states to isolate Botswana,” Khama said in the Aug. 17 edition of the Botswana Guardian newspaper.
Neither side got to test the other’s resolve after the Dalai Lama cancelled his trip late last week, citing exhaustion and a doctor’s recommendation to avoid long trips.
“So we assume he will make a speedy recovery and once he has recovered, he is of course welcome to come and visit Botswana,” Khama said defiantly. Chinese diplomats had earlier asked Botswana to “earnestly respect China’s core interests and make the correct political decision.”
Despite China’s warnings, Gaborone forged ahead with preparations for His Holiness’ visit. Gabz FM, one of the largest private radio stations in the country, ran regular advertisements for the live broadcast of the dialogue on “spirituality, science and humanity.”
In the Dalai Lama’s absence, the radio station still broadcast the three-day conference. Earlier this month, the Botswana Guardian newspaper published a glowing travel review of tourism to Tibet. The country’s media seems emboldened by the president’s stance that his country will not be bullied, sending the message that Botswana does not need China.
Botswana’s economy has stagnated as global commodity prices have dipped. The country needs to open up to more international investors that are interested in more than its diamonds. In the past, Botswana has benefitted from Chinese infrastructure development, but that usually comes with the recognition of the One China policy, and icing out Tibet. Hosting the Dalia Lama is a diplomatic and economic risk few African countries will dare.
It’s a gamble larger countries like South Africa have been too scared to take. Since Khama is stepping down next year, he won’t have to deal with the fallout of his diplomatic defiance.
Health Kalon Launches Preventive Healthcare Volunteer Group in South India, Meets Karnataka Health Minister
AUGUST 11, BANGALORE: Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, during a fortnight-long visit to South India, launched a volunteer group of healthcare professionals aimed at creating awareness about preventive healthcare measures and also met with Karnataka Health Minister Shri R. Ramesh Kumar in Bangalore.
The Health Kalon, during his August 7-10 visit to Bangalore, met with Shri R. Ramesh Kumar, Hon’ble Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka. At the meeting, the Health Kalon expressed his gratitude to the people and government of Karnataka for their generous support and assistance to the large Tibetan refugee community living in Karnataka. He also apprised the Karnataka Health Minister about the healthcare services being provided by Tibetan hospitals in the Tibetan settlements for Tibetans as well as the local Indian community. The Health Kalon further requested the Karnataka Health Minister for a Grant In-Aid from the Karnataka Government to upgrade and improve the existing healthcare services in Tibetan hospitals. The Karnataka Health Minister made a serious note of the representation by the Health Kalon and assured him of every possible help from the Karnataka state government.
In Bangalore, the Health Kalon also met with the Tibetan community residing in the city, particularly students studying in various colleges and universities. He addressed the Tibetan community in Bangalore on the policies of the Kashag, particularly on health-related issues in the Tibetan community. During the public meeting in Bangalore, the Health Kalon felicitated members of the Tro-Ten-Leng (Health Forum) for the healthcare services they had rendered to the Tibetan community.
The Health Kalon also launched a new volunteer group in the southern Tibetan settlements called “Volunteers for Patient Care,” whose sole purpose is to create awareness about preventive healthcare measures. The volunteer group, comprised of healthcare professionals, will assist and extend services to patients coming for major treatment in hospitals in the city. The volunteer group of professional healthcare workers was formed under the guidance of the Health Department, Central Tibetan Administration and initiated by the Office of the Chief Representative, CTA South-Zone, Bangalore. The healthcare professional volunteers are Tibetans, who are studying and working in various hospitals in the healthcare sector and are employed as nurses, pharmacists, dentists, nutritionists/dieticians, optometrists and computer designer.
The Health Kalon departed for Delhi from Bangalore on August 10, after a successful 15-day long tour of the five major Tibetan settlements in South India and Bangalore city.
**Please note: Any Tibetan visiting Bangalore for healthcare treatment and needing assistance from Volunteers for Patient Care can either contact Office of the Chief Representative at Tel: 080-25506842/43, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Tenzin, Mob: 920694761/8073771560. **
*** Report filed by Chief Representative’s Office, Bangalore ***
On 7th August 2017, Finance Kalon Mr. Karma Yeshi met Mr. Upendra Gupta, GST Commissioner-Government of India at New Delhi to discuss the ongoing Goods & Service Tax (GST) and to seek their guidance for the Tibetan People in doing their business.
On 8th August 2017 at 8:30 am, Kalon Karma Yeshi met Captain Sanjay Gehlot, Additional Director General of Income Tax of Government of India. At 3:30 pm, Kalon met Mr. Nirankan Saxena, Assistant Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) at his office in New Delhi to discuss empowering Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development (TED) Initiative and future possible collaboration with TED in Incubating entrepreneurs.
On 9th August 2017, Kalon Met Joint Secretary Mr. Shishank Priya, member of GST Council and Joint Secretary Mr. Dinesh Rastogi, member of GST Council to discuss the present GST systems and its impact on Tibetan Traders and entrepreneurs.
Finance Kalon Mr. Karma Yeshi also had meetings with few important people related with Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development Initiative along with TED staff Mr. Tenzin Wangyal (Under Secretary) and Mr. Tenzin Norsang (Under Secretary) of Department of Finance.
– Report filed by Department of Finance –
DHARAMSHALA: Education Kalon Ngodup Tsering successfully completed his official visit to Shimla from 3 – 6 August. He was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival at Shimla by the Settlement Officer, members of the local Assembly and leaders of local Tibetan organisations, institutes and monasteries.
On 4 August, Kalon met Mr V C Parkha, Chief Secretary of Himachal state government. Kalon thanked the chief secretary and the state Government of Himachal Pradesh for granting two additional MBBS reserved seats for Tibetan Refugee students effective 2017. The state government earlier offers two reserved MBBS seats for Tibetans, which they increased to four reserved seats now. He offered a Tibetan thangka (wall hanging applique) as token of gratitude.
After the meeting with the Chief Secretary, Kalon visited the Tibetan Sambhota infant School in Sanjauli and the old age home run by Namgyal monastery. He also visited the Jonang monastery to offer prayers and attended a luncheon organised by the monastery. Kalon then visited CST Shimla and inspected the classrooms, school campus before interacting with the students and staff. During the visit to the school, he expressed gratitude to the staff and teachers especially the Indian nationals working at the school as teachers and staff. He explained that the transfer of the school to CTSA would be completed by March 2018.
On 5 August, Kalon called on Shri Kaul Singh Thakur, health minister of Himachal Pradesh. He expressed the Tibetan people particularly the eduction department’s gratitude to him for granting two additional MBBS reserved seats for Tibetan refugees. He offered a White Tara Thangka to the minister as a token of gratitude.
In the afternoon of the same day, Kalon visited the Thupten Dorje Drak Chokor Namgyalling monastery to offer prayers. At 04:00 pm, he presided over a general meeting of Tibetan governmental and non-governmental organisations organised by the settlement office.
On 6 August August, Kalon returned to Dharamshala. Before returning, he inspected a Tibetan preschool based near Shimla Bus station and urged them submit their grievances through the local settlement office.
DHARAMSHALA: The President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay today expressed profound sympathy with the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain.
“I express my profound sympathy and condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack in Spain yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Spain,” President Dr Lobsang Sangay said.
“Spain has long been a friend of the Tibetan people and we stand in solidarity with you as you recover from this brutal attack on innocent civilians and tourists,” he said.
“While we mourn, let us remember the wise words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who champions the concept of oneness of humanity, and love and wellbeing for all. It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to make our society more humane, and more just,” he said.
“Let’s learn to listen to each other again, to respect each other’s weaknesses. Above all, lets remember that violence is not the solution to resolve conflicts. I pray that peace and harmony will once again reign the beautiful cities of Barcelona and Cambrils ,” he said.
At least 13 people were killed and 100 injured in two subsequent terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in Spain Yesterday.
DHARAMSHALA: President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration is scheduled to leave Dharamshala for an official visit to the United States from 27 August – 11 September 2017.
During the visit, President Dr Lobsang Sangay will address the Tibetan public and meet dignitaries in Washington DC and other US cities including Santa Fe, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, etc. He also have speaking engagements at a University and with members of Tibet support groups.
President Dr Sangay will be back in Dharamshala on 11 September.
DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today sent a video message to the President of Botswana Ian Khama and the organisers of the Mind and Life Conference in Botswana for not being able to attend the conference as scheduled.
“I want to express my heartfelt regrets for not being able to attend the conference. Since I received the invitation about a year ago, I was very excited. However, due to the busy schedules of the last two months, I am feeling extremely tired physically,” His Holiness said.
“Usually, the high altitude of Ladakh doesn’t affect me much, but this time, I think because of my age, I felt very tired. So, even though my spirits is high, my body doesn’t seem to agree. Therefore, I have no alternative but to cancel the visit,” His Holiness explained.
His Holiness further called the cancellation as a mere postponement and expressed hope for another opportunity to come soon.
Speaking directly to President Ian Khama, His Holiness expressed his gratitude to the President for his sincere efforts and genuine interest in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the country.
“I am deeply touched by your sincere efforts and appreciate your interest in the conference,” His Holiness said.
Regarding the conference, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed confidence in the potential of Africa as a continent and heaped praises on the concept of ‘Ubuntu’ -one of the central themes of the Mind and Life conference.
“I always try to promote the concept of Oneness of humanity. Similarly, your tradition of Ubuntu also focuses on the oneness of humanity which a ifreat thing. Ubuntu may be an ancient concept but it is very relevant in today’s world,” His Holiness remarked.
“Today a lot of the problems which humanity is facing is due to secondary level of differences such as different nationalites, religious faiths and races. Logically speaking, the only remedy to reduce this is to develop a sense of oneness among the seven billion human beings,” His Holiness said.
“I am now 82 years old. I belong to the 20thcentury. In my life, I have observed that humanity seems to become more mature as they go through difficult periods. The desire for harmony, desire for peace is much stronger these days. In the earlier part of the 20th century, I think people really feel violence or war is a part of life and consider it to be the best method to solve problems. But now, that kind of thinking has changed,” His Holiness noted.
“Although there are some violence here and there even now it is a vestige of the past way of thinking. Solving problems through violence is an old way of thinking, it is outdated.”
“As long as there are humans, problems will always be there. These problems are human problems; therefore we must solve these problems in a humane way, i.e though dialogue. That’s why I always say this 21st century should be a century of dialogue. The 21st century should be a peaceful century,” His Holiness said.
“Peace must come through inner peace. With inner peace, whenever we face some disagreement with other’s views or rights, we can solve it through a mutually acceptable solution. That is the only human way.”
“So your nation can make some significant contribution towards that. Sometimes smaller nations may have greater potential to create peace. That’s my view,” His Holiness said in the video message.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has cancelled his visit to Botswana originally scheduled for August 15-20 this year owing to physical exhaustion.
Confirmation of Suicide note left by Larung Gar Nun castigates religious repression opted by Chinese Government
Dharamshala: The demolitions at Larung Gar began on 20 July 2016 following the eviction of a number of its residents. Home to thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns, Larung Gar- the globally known Tibetan Buddhist institute, is now on the verge of extinction. In protest to the eviction and ongoing demolitions, three Tibetan nuns committed suicide last year. A suicide note left by one of the Tibetan Nuns has at long last been made public.
Tsering Dolma, aged 20 and a native of Mewa Township in Khakok County located in the Sichuan Province, hanged herself on 19 July at her quarter located in the Pema Khando Nun’s residence, the Nun’s District in Larung Gar. Harsh Chinese censorship laws had prevented any further investigation into her case.
Her suicide note, obtained by Tibet Watch last week, substantiates that she hanged herself out of anguish and unhappiness emitting from the demolitions carried out in Larung Gar.
In her suicide note, Tsering Dolma wrote, “My heart is so sad. The reason is the Chinese government does not allow us the freedom to practice our religion. Even the tiny shelters have been destroyed. It is better to die.”
According to TCHRD, the note was made available to the India-based Tibet Times newspaper by an Australia-based former Tibetan political prisoner named Shel Gedun Tsering who had contacted sources in Tibet.
Other known cases of suicide by nuns at Larung Gar include Rigzin Dolma who also died by hanging on 20 July 2016 and Semgha who died by hanging on the same day as Tsering Dolma. Three days before, on 17 July, another nun whose identity remains unknown survived a suicide attempt.
Larung Gar is said to be the biggest Tibetan Buddhist institute in the world. The academy and monastery, founded in 1980, sprawls over a mountainside in Sertar county in eastern Tibet, and attracts thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns who wish to study there. The demolition of this renowned institute started from 20 July and continued till early May 2017. The population of Larung Gar has been nearly halved in the past year from its original population of approximately 10,000.
DHARAMSHALA: The Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh has officially adopted the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act for Tibetans residing in the state. The Central Government of India has formalised the Act in 2014.
Confirming the announcement, Shri Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of the state wrote to Dr Lobsang Sangay, the President of Central Tibetan Administration.
“I am happy to inform you that in the cabinet meeting convened by me on 12 August 2017, I along with my colleagues decided to adopt and extend the Tibetan rehabilitation policy 2014 in the state of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
“As you are aware, Arunachal Pradesh has the fourth largest number of Tibetans in India. We have four Tibetan settlements Tezu, Miao, Tuting and Tenzingang. Therefore, in order to provide better opportunities to Tibetan youths residing in Arunachal Pradesh, my cabinet resolved to implement the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014 as framed by the union Government of India,” he added.
President Dr Sangay thanked the State government of Arunachal Pradesh led by Shri Pema Khandu for confirming the implementation of the policy.
“I thank my dear friend Shri Pema Khandu who is an ardent follower of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and life long friend of the Tibetan people. The state of Arunachal Pradesh shares an unshakeable and historic bond with the Tibetan people. This gesture will further strengthen the bond of friendship and affinity between the two,” Dr Sangay said.
“Taking this opportunity, I would also like to recall the late Shri Dorjee Khandu, former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh for his significant contribution towards the welfare of the Tibetan people. One of the great Chief Ministers of the state, he was a lifelong follower of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and catered to the welfare of his people,” he added.
Since the official announcement of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act by the Union government of India in 2014, several states including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand have also formulated the policy as requested by Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration.
For the first time in exile history, Mundgod and Hunsur, both in the Indian state of Karnataka and two of the largest Tibetan settlements have officially signed land lease agreements ensuring the sustenance of the Tibetan settlements.
The Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy Act caters to the welfare of the Tibetans in India: matters concerning land lease, extending Central and States benefits, undertaking any economic activity and to that extent issuing of relevant papers/trade license/permit, pursue/take jobs in any field for which they are professionally qualified such as fields like nursing, teaching, Chartered Accountancy, medicine, engineering etc.
Dharamshala: President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay today inaugurated the 3rd Young Tibetan Research Scholar’s Conference organised by Tibet Policy Institute, think tank of the Central Tibetan Administration. The three-day conference themed ‘Tibet and Tibetans: Prospects and Challenges’ is being held at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sahra near Dharamshala.
The special guests at the inaugural session was Brigadier Vinod Anand, Senior Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation and Geshe Kelsang Damdul, Director of Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Sarah.
Speaking at the occasion, President Dr Lobsang Sangay said the current lot of Tibetan research scholars will have to take on the challenge of shaping Tibetan narrative and to tap into opportunities that reinforces Tibetan relevance in the global scenario.
“At the crux of the current political trends and issues, especially the ones that’s taking place in India, lies an opportunity for the Tibetan issue to reinstate its relevance and become an integral part of the discussions.
“We have a vast array of young researchers, now is the right time to produce relevant researches that can be used to inform public narrative and shape intelligent arguments for Tibet,” The President urged the young scholars.
He lamented that the current global trend is witnessing ultra-nationalism and extremism on the rise and internationalism and liberalism, compassionate diplomacy on the decline. “However, the Tibetan movement and the people must keep itself above it. Compassion, kindness and values have been Tibetan patents since ancient times. We cannot afford to lose the hallmarks of our identity.
Objectivity and critical thinking are the most cherished ideals in research community, the President reminded the young scholars and doctorals, and encouraged them to take greater responsibility in shaping correct views in the Tibetan community.
In his inaugural address, Brig Vinod Anand spoke about Tibet from a geopolitical perspective and elucidated the importance of Tibet from security point of view for India as well as for China.
“China is in throes of internal change. It cannot be said that China’s Communist Party would rule in China in perpetuity, deceleration of economy, disparity and inequality in economic growth has given rise to internal turbulence in China..it is necessary for Tibetans in India and in diaspora and especially the young scholars who are studying about Tibet and Tibetology to continue to identity with this cause,” he said.
On the conference, he said the themes were well chosen and are “in line with what young and budding scholars need to research to keep the flame of their identity and cause burning so there is a need to continue to promote the Tibet narrative.”
Director Thubten Samphel, Tibet Policy Institute noted that the Tibetan intelligentsia, including research scholars have an indispensable obligation to identify the prospect and challenges of Tibet issue. Through this conference, the TPI has taken the responsibility of creating a permanent avenue for young research scholars to share ideas and research findings and to build network
“The conference brings together promising scholars to present their work and receive feedback from prominent scholars. We especially hope that the conference presents an opportunity for the scholars to build new synergies and connect to a wider body of contemporary researchers on themes critical for Tibet.”
Over 39 young Tibetan research scholars from across India are taking part in the three-day conference, organised by the Tibet Policy Institute from 16-18 August. The scholars, most of whom are pursuing their doctoral studies from major universities in India, will share their research findings on issues related to the broad theme, ‘Tibet and Tibetans: Prospects and Challenges‘.
DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his profound sympathies at the loss of lives and property caused by a massive landslide in Mandi in a letter written to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
“I am deeply saddened to learn that a massive landslide swept away vehicles, including public buses, on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway near Mandi on Saturday night resulting in the tragic death and injury of many people,” His Holiness wrote. “I would like to offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and to others affected by this catastrophe.
“Himachal Pradesh has been my home for over 57 years, and I naturally feel an affinity for its people. Natural disasters like this are difficult to predict and consequently difficult to take precautions against. However, I wonder if the introduction of warning procedures at the first signs of trouble might help prevent the recurrence of such events in the future.”
His Holiness ended his letter with the assurance that as a token of his respect and sympathy, he was making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.
Dharamshala: Thousands of devotees and well-wishers: Tibetans, Indians and supporters thronged the streets- from Gagal airport in Kangra to the lanes of Tsuglakhang temple in Mcleod Ganj to celebrate the return of their beloved spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama after more than a month long visit to Ladakh, Delhi and Mumbai.
President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay and Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, officials of CTA and representatives of Tibetan NGOSs extended a warm reception to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Gaggal airport.
His Holiness wrapped up his more-than-a-month-long teaching tour to Ladakh on 31 July and gave a series of talks in Delhi and Mumbai from 5 – 14 August.
His Holiness’ upcoming schedule includes: four day teachings on Buddhapalita’s Commentary on the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way (drel-pa Buddhapalita) at the request of a group from Asia including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam at the Main Tibetan Temple from 29 – 1 September.
On 10 September, he will give a public talk on Compassion in Action at the Millennium Forum, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK
His Holiness will give public talk on Global Ethics – Shared Values in the afternoon organized by Tibet House Frankfurt to be held at Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt on 13 September.
On 14 September, His Holiness will participate in a one-day conference on Western Science and Buddhist Perspectives to be held at Jahrhunderthalle.
On 16 September, His Holiness will give a public talk on Peace in the morning at the Ancient Greek-Roman Theater of Taormina, Sicily, Italy.
His Holiness will give a public talk on Compassionate Ethics and Interdependence in the morning at Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, Messina, Sicily, Italy on 17 September.
DHARAMSHALA: President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration congratulated India on the 71st anniversary of its Independence Day at a brief ceremony held at the Kashag secretariat today. The ceremony was attended by Kalons, secretaries and senior officials of all the departments.
Following the hoisting of the Indian national flag to the tune of the Indian national anthem, President Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed his greetings to the people and government of India.
“On the 71st anniversary of India’s independence day, I would like to express my heartiest greetings to the government and people of India,” President Dr Sangay said.
“This administration is observing the day with the wish and prayer that India becomes the greatest country in the world. We hope India’s economy flourish and its stature enhanced in the world, and the people of this country are able to reap the benefits of their country’s progress,” he said.
“Taking this opportunity, I would also like to thank India for hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan administration and the Tibetan people for over five decades since 1959. No country has done more for Tibetan than India and for that, the Tibetan people remain constantly indebted to this great nation,” he added.
Tea and sweets were distributed after the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, Sikyong left for Police Grounds in Lower Dharamshala where the local Indian administrative office is hosting a similar ceremony to mark the occasion. The chief guest at the ceremony was Shri Sudhir Sharma, minister of Himachal state government.
Tibetan representatives at the ceremony inlcude Kalon Karma Yeshi, Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phunstok, Tibetan Parliamentarian Ngawang Tharpa and Kashag secretary Topgyal Tsering.
Seven Billion Human Beings Have the Seed of Love and Compassion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama at TISS
MUMBAI: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today graced the launch of a course on Secular Ethics by Tata Institute of Social Science at its convention center in Mumbai. The inauguration was attended by more than a thousand people including eminent scholars, professors, faculty and students of the institute.
Delivering the first lecture of the course, His Holiness the Dalai Lama hailed India’s long-standing tradition of respect and accommodation of differing religious faiths and cultures within its boundaries, and called India a model for the rest of the world.
His Holiness further described India as the only country in the world, which can effectively combine secular ethics and modern education to produce sustainable results for the benefit of the entire sentient beings.
“While there could be innumerable sentient beings across the infinite galaxies, there are only 7 billion human beings on this planet. These 7 billion beings are biologically the same. We all have the seed of love and compassion,” His Holiness said.
“However, despite our common desire for happiness and the innate potential for love and compassion, we are facing a wave of violence perpetrated in the name of religion and greed. In light of these, the future doesn’t look promising,” His Holiness noted.
“Religion as a mass institution has immense power to transform people into better human beings. But frankly speaking, it has failed in many instances. While religion is a source of joy for many, people have also created sufferings in the name of religion. Now, we must look for other alternatives to bring peace, and education is the only viable option,” His Holiness said.
“The existing education system is oriented more towards materialistic development. But if we can incorporate secular ethics such as compassion and warmheartedness into our education system, we can bring about a huge change,” His Holiness remarked, and lauded the institute’s foresight and initiative in introducing a special program dedicated to secular ethics.
“People believe morality is for religion in earlier days, but now a day it is much relevant in today’s world. It should be taught from kindergarten level in order to bring some conviction to one in life,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness also talked about cultivating emotional hygiene at par with physical hygiene and spoke about anger as a destructive emotion that can ruin the self as well as the other.
His Holiness further said, “I develop conviction that different religions could live together, that’s why one of my commitments is religious harmony. Besides modern education of materialistic development, we must develop teaching of secular ethics to train inner value”.
He stated Ahimsa is the manifestation of karuna, action level is ahimsa and motivation level is Karuna.
A strong advocate of secularism and universal responsibility, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has long emphasised secular ethics through transformation of the existing education system as a response to the complex challenges of race, religious and economic divides faced by humanity.
The course is designed by Dr. Monica Sharma, Tata Chair Professor and retired Director of Leadership and Capacity Building United Nations. “The course on Secular Ethics aims to provide a common foundation for multi-cultural diversity based on universal values of dignity, equity and compassion,” according to a press release issued by the institute.
“The course encourages praxis, based on the commonality of humanity and the ability to source this in the self and in the other to foster interdependence and wellbeing. This course embodies universal values individually and collectively, and helps unleash one’s full potential to shift disempowering systems and norms in order to create new patterns for equitable and sustainable results,” it says.
Mumbai: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday extolled secularism practised in India and emphasised that India’s example of peaceful existence of different religions in the country should be followed all over the world.
“Wherever I go, I tell people that with regard to religious harmony, India is a living example that religious traditions can live together in peace and respect,” the Tibetan leader told an audience of over 4000.
He said it’s unthinkable that religious faith should be a source of conflict. However, there are places now where conflict takes place within the same faith—between Sunni and Shia traditions for example—something not seen in India.
“In this country, ahimsa has, for thousands of years, characterized the path of action, but it is related to being motivated by karuna or compassion. On the one hand, if we have a self-centred attitude, an artificial smile and seek to deceive others with sweet words—that’s a kind of violence. On the other, when a parent or teacher, like my tutor, uses harsh words entirely out of concern for a child’s welfare, that’s non-violent.
He further emphasised the learning of ancient Indian knowledge and its relevance today. “Now, I’ve made a commitment to trying to revive this ancient knowledge in India, which I consider is the only country that could combine it with a modern approach to education,” the Buddhist leader said.
“If education paid more attention to the ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions, we’d learn how to achieve peace of mind. We’ve been working with education experts and scientists to draw up a curriculum to implement this from kindergarten to university. We propose to do this on a secular basis—secular meaning not only respect for all religious traditions without bias, but even respect for the views of those who have no belief. If India can combine modern education with ancient Indian knowledge, she can make a significant contribution to the well-being of all 7 billion human beings.”
In a lighter moment during the program, His Holiness held Baba Ramdev’s beard in a playful manner and poked his midriff as the latter touched His Holiness’ feet to seek blessings.
Other religious leaders who spoke at the conclave were Maulana Dr. Kalbe Sadiq, Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado , Acharya Dr. Lokesh Muni , Giani Gurbachan Singh, Swami Baba Ramdev, Jainacharya Namra Muni and many others.
Key figures present were Union Minister for Agriculture and Panchayat Raj, Union Minister for Science & Technology; Environment, Forest and Climate Change; as well as Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Indian actor, Vivek Oberoi.
His Holiness and the several spiritual leaders ate lunch together in a cordial display of friendship before formally concluding the conclave.