By Tenzin Sangmo
CTA Prayer Service for the late Sh. George Fernandes/Phayul Photo: Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 30: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) held a prayer service today from at T-building, in Gangchen Kyishong for former Indian defense minister and a staunch Tibet supporter George Fernandes, who passed away yesterday.
The prayer service was spearheaded by the Religion and Culture Kalon (minister) Karma Gelek Yuthok and attended by other Kalons and staff of the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration.
At the service, Yuthok spoke about the life and achievements of the departed. Enumerating on the late minister’s long association with Tibet, he said, “Fernandes had been a valuable and a consistent Tibet supporter until the time of his death.”
“In 1994, under his guidance, the World Parliamentarians’ Conventions on Tibet (WPCT) was first formed and the maiden conference took place in Delhi, marking an important milestone in the exile history,” said Yuthok.
In 2007, Fernandes led an all-party Indian parliamentary forum to the official function of the 48th Tibetan National Uprising Day in Dharamshala. At the function, he conveyed his support in the presence of H.H. the Dalai Lama.
“The former Defense Minister also visited Tibetan Special Frontier Force soldiers who were stationed at the Siachen glacier. There he thanked the soldiers for their role in the protection of the border. In later years, he has personally flown in a helicopter to inspect the well-being of the Tibetan settlement near Herbertpur, established specifically for the Tibetan ex-servicemen,” said Yuthok.
A prayer service was also held this afternoon at the World Peace Stupa in Clement town Tibetan settlement in Dehradun. Fernandes laid the foundation stone for the stupa in 2000 and also inaugurated the temple along with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2002.
CTA offices remained closed after the prayer service to mourn Fernandes' passing away.