By Tenzin Sangmo
HHDL at Civic Theatre, Auckland -NZ in 2013. PC- dalailama.com
DHARAMSHALA, March 21: His Holiness the Dalai Lama sent a condolence letter yesterday addressed to the Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand expressing his deep sadness at the tragedy of Christchurch shootings last Friday.
He wrote, “I offer my heartfelt prayers for those who died and wish to convey my condolences through you to their families, friends and the people of New Zealand.”
In the letter, His Holiness admired the courage, wisdom and leadership Ardern has shown in spontaneously declaring that the victims of violence belong to the family of New Zealanders, while the perpetrator of violence set himself apart.
He wrote, “Since we all depend upon others, we have to be inclusive in our concern for them.”
“Wherever I go, I consider myself to be just one among seven billion human beings alive today. It is unthinkable that today we see people killing each other in the name of religion or out of hostility to another faith. This is why I am committed to creating a greater awareness of the oneness of humanity—the fact that as human beings we are mentally, physically and emotionally the same,” the letter reads.
He applauded the way Ardern and the people of New Zealand have reached out with compassion and support to members of the Muslim community in New Zealand.
The letter says it is encouraging too that across the world, people of all faiths are visiting mosques in solidarity with Muslims after the Christchurch shootings.
The letter concluded by saying the New Zealand government’s determination to reform gun laws will contribute to peace and security and added, “but equally important is to resist hatred and fear by cultivating warm-heartedness as you have shown.”