Tibet: Expression of Gratitude to India
As an expression of their gratitude to the government and people of India for their generosity and hospitality in the last 50 years in exile, Tibetans in exile are showcasing their efforts in the promotion and preservation of Tibet's cultural heritage and foundation of democratic institution accomplished under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The five-day festival being jointly organised by the India International Centre (IIC), Department of Information and International Relations and Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi, opened at the India International Centre in New Delhi yesterday [26 March 2009].
The festival began with the opening of an exhibition on the 50 years of Tibetan people's experience in exile under the generous support of government and people of India. Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche and Prof M G K Menon, president of India International Centre, opened the exhibition, as a group of monks from Gyuto monastery chanted auspicious prayers.
A battery of friends and sympathisers of the Tibetan cause, including Kapila Vathsayan, member of Rajya Sabha, upper house of Indian parliament, former foreign secretary of India and former Ambassador of Bhutan to India and other dignitaries attended the inaugural function. Around 400 people, including Tibetans residing in Delhi, took part in the event.
While addressing the function, Prof M G K Menon said it is a proud moment for Tibetans as they commemorate their 50 years in exile at the India International Centre, which is considered as the centre of two apostles of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a leading figure who introduces the meaning of peace to people around the world, he added.
He said the vibrant display of traditional Tibetan thangka (scroll) paintings and artifacts symbolise the fruits of Tibetan people's efforts in the protection and preservation of Tibet's unique cultural heritage in the last 50 years in exile.
Similarly, features such panel discussions, talks and photo exhibitions at the event will help in fulfilling the mission of IIC in creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, he said.
Prof Menon said IIC felt honoured to hold the event showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Tibet.
In his address, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche expressed heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of India for extending invaluable support for Tibetans in preserving and protecting the Tibetan culture and religion.
Kalon Tripa also wholeheartedly thanked the Indian government's immense support in providing education of the Tibetan children.
Kalon Tripa emphasised the need to deepen and strengthen the bond of friendship between the people of India and Tibetan people.
“This Commemoration is an expression of our appreciation to the government and people of India for their generosity in hosting us for 50 long years and our attempt to inform the world what the Tibetan exiles have achieved when they are given the freedom and opportunity,” said Kalon Tempa Tsering, who is also the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi.
“What the Tibetans in exile have accomplished is nothing but the rejuvenation of their culture and community, which is serviced by an excellent education system,” Kalon Tempa Tsering said.
“While rebuilding and strengthening our community in areas like education, health, cultural preservation, finance, administering the settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan and democratizing the administration, we have been able to bring the concerns and plight of Tibetans in Tibet to the international community. We have been helped in this most capably by a network of Tibet Support Groups which have been responsible for keeping the struggle of the Tibetan people in the conscience of the world,” Kalon Tempa Tsering said,
“The generosity and hospitality of the government and people of India have been one fundamental reason for the success of the Tibetan refugees,” he said.
While building a cohesive community that is serviced by a vibrant and strong civil society, the Tibetans have been successful in bringing the sad and appalling conditions of the Tibetan people in Tibet to a sympathetic international community. Tibetans have been fortunate in this effort by the support of a growing and effective network of organizations in spreading the word of Tibet to the media, governments and parliaments around the world, he said.
The festival will go on till 30 March . For the first time, the festival will bring together all the important institutions of the exile Tibetans to chart the progress Tibetans in exile have made in all fields that keep any community vibrant.