By Kalsang Rinchen
The Dalai Lama gestures as he speaks to the members of the press at Tsuglakhang to express his eagerness to visit Yushu County (Kyegudo: Tibetan) to pray for the victims and offer comfort and solace to the survivors, 17/04/10 photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Dharamsala, April 16 – The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed eagerness to visit the quake affected areas of Qinghai province. His Holiness said he would like to pray with the affected families for those who have lost their lives in the earthquake and offer solace to them.
“Because of the physical distance between us, at present I am unable to comfort those directly affected, but I would like them to know I am praying for them,” a press release issued by the Tibetan leader’s office said.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama pose with cricketers from Deccan Chargers team. The Tibetan leader met members of IPL teams, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers, today before addressing a press conference where he expressed his desire to visit the earthquake hit area of Qinghai. 17/4/10 Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
Speaking to the media after meeting the Indian Premiere League contingents here at the Tsuglakhang today, the Tibetan leader said he feels a connection as “the location of the earthquake, Kyegudo, (Chinese: Yushu), lies in Qinghai Province, which happens to be where both the late Panchen Lama and I were born.”
Asked if his eagerness was a response to the letter that the Tibetans in Yushu have reportedly written to Chinese president Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to invite him, the Tibetan leader said he was not aware of such a letter but he heard that people in the earthquake affected areas are talking about the possibility that he might come.
The Tibetan leader appreciated the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas, “especially Premier Wen Jiabao who has not only personally offered comfort to the affected communities but also overseen the relief work. “
“I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to report on the tragedy and its aftermath.”
He also said he wished to visit Sichuan in 2008 when it was hit by an earthquake that left more than 90,000 people dead but that he was unable to do so.
The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi refused to accept a donation offered by the Tibetan leader in 2008 for the Sichuan earthquake relief. The money was then routed through the Red Cross.
“However, when Taiwan was struck by a typhoon last year, I was able to visit the affected families and pray with them for those who had perished in that disaster. In providing some solace to the people concerned, I was happy to be able to do something useful,” said the Tibetan leader who added that the Tibetan community in exile would offer whatever support and assistance it can towards the relief work. “We hope to be able to do this through the proper and appropriate channels as soon as possible.”