DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today graced the public felicitation organized by the Central Tibetan Administration in honor of the high-level bipartisan US Congressional delegation visiting Dharamshala. The delegation, led by US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, is on a two-day visit to Dharamshala to reaffirm the United States’ continued support of the Tibet issue.
The felicitation was attended by thousands of Tibetans and Tibet supporters who thronged the Tsuglagkhang temple to express their joy and appreciation to the visiting eight-member congressional delegation.
Expressing his gratitude to the delegation for coming to Dharamshala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama described the United States as the global leader for world peace. “America is a leading nation of the free world and plays a pivotal role in the promotion of peace around the world. U.S. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi has been one of the longest friend and supporter of the Tibetan people, who has stood with us in the most critical of times and situations. I thank all of you today for expressing your genuine support for the Tibetan cause and solidarity for Tibetans inside Tibet,” His Holiness said.
“It is important to remember that Tibet supporters are not merely supporting us because of attachment; they are supporting the spirit of truth and justice, which is the core strength of our struggle. We have not gathered here against China but for truth and justice. We consider China as our friend and strongly believe in principle of give and take and mutual benefit. The Tibetan struggle represents that of truth, justice, non-violence and Tibetan people’s determination to preserve this culture has generated intense support for Tibet from all corners of the world, including Chinese,” His Holiness explained.
“Today, it is a conviction in these values that gives me the powerful motivation to promote basic human values. Even in my own struggle for the rights and greater freedom of the Tibetan people, these values continue to guide my commitment in pursuing a non-violent path,” His Holiness added.
Leader Nancy Pelosi, addressing the august gathering, paid tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a man of compassion, vision and hope. She said: “Anytime anywhere a person can be in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a special occasion. I am proud to be here with the delegation from across America.”
“We came to see you as you have inspired us with your hope. I am more hopeful than ever that we will meet the challenges that face us. My hope springs from His Holiness’ message of compassion. Hope exists right where His Holiness tells us, right between deep faith in the goodness of others, belief and compassion,” she said.
In an emotional recollection of the US Congressional visit to Tibet in November 2015, Leader Pelosi said, “We went to the Potala Palace and we saw the room where His Holiness lived. We promised each other then and there that we would do everything in our power to make sure he would return to that place.” Rep Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum and Joyce Beatty were also part of the Congressional delegation to Tibet.
Leader Pelosi further said the free world would have lost its moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world, if it did not speak up against the repression in Tibet and in rest of China.
“To some in China, the authentic autonomous Tibet is inconceivable; to us it is inevitable. We must shorten the distance between the inconceivable to them and inevitable to us. I am sure with your devotion, determination and commitment to Tibetan values, culture, language and religions and under leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who will live to be at least 113 years old, I am certain we will succeed.”
President of Central Tibetan Administration Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking at public felicitation for bi-partisan US Congressional delegates at main Tibetan temple, Dharamshala, HP, India on 10 May 2017. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR
President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay, in his address described His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the life and soul of Tibet. “His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we believe, is the manifestation of the Buddha of compassion (Chenresig). Chenresig and Tibetans are inseparable. Dalai Lamas and Tibetans are also forever connected. Therefore, as long as there is Tibet and as long as there is Tibetan people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to this world to alleviate the sufferings of the Tibetan people,” he said.
Expressing gratitude to the delegation for visiting Dharamshala, President Sangay said: “the congressional delegation sends a message of hope, justice and freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet and the world. As you entered the ceremony, you have seen the smiles of the Tibetan children and public, these smiles reflect the smiles of the six million Tibetan people,” Sikyong said.
Sikyong also thanked Leader Nancy Pelosi for implementing almost all the promises that she has made to him during their meeting at Washington DC three years ago.
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, the lone Republican in the delegation, assured the bipartisan support of the US Congress on Tibet and love and respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
He also expressed his solidarity with the sufferings endured by the Tibetan people inside Tibet. “Today there is no justice for Tibet and Tibetans in the practice of their religion, language and in expression of devotion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Only when there is justice in all of these areas, will there be freedom in Tibet. And that is what we, in the United States Congress, is firmly committed to.”
“You have seen the US government step up and help fund Tibetans in keeping their culture and traditions alive here in Dharamshala and elsewhere in the world. And the United States will continue to stand by Tibet until Tibet is free and justice is served.”
Representative Eliot Engel in his speech urged China to let Tibetans practice their faith without governmental interference. “Let the people of Tibet practice their faith. Let the people of Tibet determine their own future,” he said. He further expressed his continued support to the Tibet issue and announced: “We will never stop until Tibet is free.”
Towards the end he assured that, being on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the US Congress, he would make sure to talk about his experience here in India and also look into how helpful they can be to the Tibetan people.
Representative Jim McGovern, in his speech, pledged to make the return of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Tibetan people to Tibet possible. He called upon the Chinese government to respect human rights and release all Tibetan prisoners of conscience including the 11th Panchen Lama. Condemning China for interfering in Tibet’s traditional reincarnation system, he said China does not have the authority nor the right to name reincarnated religious leaders of Tibet.
He further made a call to like-minded people from all over the globe to work together for peace and Justice. “We need to be the wind at the back of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We need to be the wind at the back of President Dr. Lobsang Sangay. We need to be the wind at the back of all the Tibetan people all over the world but especially in Tibet,” he added.
Representative Pramila Jayapal also expressed her support for the Tibetan issue and recalled her childhood spent in India. She also thanked her birth country India for providing refuge to the Tibetan people. She emphasised the importance of preserving Tibetan religion, language and arts.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the Tibetan Parliament, in his statement, thanked the delegation for coming to Dharamshala to express support for the Tibet cause. “This gesture will send a strong message to the Chinese that Tibetans are never alone,” he said.
Secretary Dhardon Sharling thanked the delegation especially leader Nancy Pelosi for making this visit as requested by President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration. She also thanked them for their insightful and powerful remarks packed with positivity.
www.tibet.net news, May 10,2017