His Holiness the Dalai Lama is presented the Minority Award by South Tyrol President Luis Durnwalder in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy, on April 10, 2013. (Photo/Alessandro Molinari)
DHARAMSHALA, April 11: The Tibetan Spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama was honoured with a Minority Award in South Tyrol on 10 April.
“This year, though the light that it might have shone on the situation of Tibetans is like a candle in comparison to His Holiness’s efforts. Nevertheless, the message that South Tyrol wants to send is that the rights of minorities should never be surrendered and that they will work to remind others of this,’’ said President Luis Durnwalder of South Tyrol while addressing the gathering.
Durnwalder gave the prize to the Tibetan spiritual leader.
“It’s a great honour for me to accept this award. And while offering my personal thanks, I would like to think that this award has been given to Tibetans who are still struggling for freedom,” His Holiness said accepting the award.
“I very much appreciate this award being given by a group of people who have been staunch friends and who have blazed the trail to autonomy before us.”
Following the award ceremony, the 77-yeard-old Nobel Laureate met with media and answered various questions, including the ongoing self-immolation protests in Tibet.
“For years I have considered myself a free spokesperson for the people of Tibet, but those people are my boss. Those who are pursuing this course of action are doing so not because they are drunk or beset by family problems, but because of the desperate situation in which they find themselves.”
“If I were to ask them to stop, I’d have to have an alternative to offer and I don’t,” the Dalai Lama added.
The Minority Award had been set up to shed light on the problems minorities face.