His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to the Hazratbal Mosque in Srinagar, J&K on July 17, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, August 17: Amidst growing concerns over the safety of Tibetans, especially in south Indian cities, after a Tibetan youth was stabbed in Mysore on August 14, the exile Tibetan cabinet has directed Tibetan representatives to meet Muslim leaders and appraise them with factual information.
Although reports indicate that the youth in out of danger, but the real motive of the attack, by the two motorbike-borne assailants, is not fully known.
Police suspect the Tibetan youth may have been a victim of random attacks targeted against people from northeast India following the recent ethnic clashes in the state of Assam.
In a statement yesterday evening, the Kashag said that the Tibetan Settlement Officers should visit and meet prominent Muslim leaders including religious leaders and members of state assembly to apprise them with the real information on the issue.
“The Muslim leaders should be informed about the historically good relationship between the Tibetan Muslims and Buddhists, particularly the consistent commitment and advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to promote religious harmony during his visits around the world, his pilgrimage to mosques and efforts to strengthen ties with Muslim religious leaders,” the Kashag stated.
The Tibetan cabinet noted that the recent conflict between the Buddhist and Muslim communities of Burma has created “some misinterpretation and misunderstanding” about Tibetans leading to “some unfortunate incidents.”
“The misunderstanding about Tibetans has arisen mainly from the misuse of a photo of Tibetan monks which appeared in different websites about violence against Muslims in Burma,” the statement read. “The photo of Tibetan monks was in fact about the funeral during the devastating earthquake in Yushul in eastern Tibet, in April 2010.”
The Kashag also guided the Tibetan leaders to inform the Muslim community about the sadness expressed by the Dalai Lama on the recent violence in Assam.
Speaking to reporters recently, the Dalai Lama condemned ethnic violence in Assam and urged everyone to practice religious harmony and non-violence.
“It is very sad. Almost my whole life has been dedicated to promotion of harmony. India, overall, thousand years, you have culture of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) and also, culture of harmony among different religious believers,” the Tibetan spiritual leader was quoted as saying by ANI. “So, every Indian, irrespective of what religious follower and even non- believers, I think we should realise the thousand year old India’s traditional Ahimsa and traditional religious harmony, this must be retained.”
Speaking at a prayer ceremony in Dharamshala yesterday, Dr Sangay urged Tibetans to practice caution and remain indoors over the next few days for an upcoming major Muslim festival.
The situation in major cities like Bangalore continues to remain tense despite assurances by the state and central government to not panic.
According to Karnataka state officials, around 20,000 people from the Northeast have already left Bangalore. Tibetans students studying in various colleges in Bangalore and Mysore have also opted to leave for safer haven in the nearby Tibetan settlements.