Dalai Lama's No. 2 here to meet devotees
The Straits Times[Sunday, June 01, 2003 10:30]
AS A young monk, he studied Buddhist scriptures with the Dalai Lama.

In 1959, he fled to India with Tibet's spiritual and political leader, after China occupied the country.

And last December, Longri Namgay was named the 101th Ganden Tripa, effectively the Dalai Lama's deputy.

The 77-year-old monk is in town to meet local devotees and to spread Buddha's teachings. Yesterday, he spoke to more than 300 people at the Ngee Ann Cultural Centre in Tank Road.

During his month-long stay here, he will also meet other religious leaders, such as Archbishop Nicholas Chia, the head of the Catholic Church in Singapore.

The monk was invited here by the Charitable Assistance Society, formed by a group of local university and polytechnic graduates to help the underprivileged and promote Buddhism.

Said its president, Mr Tan Boon Beng: 'It's an honour to have His Holiness here.

'I felt very touched after listening to his message of compassion.'

As the Ganden Tripa, Longri Namgay also has the task of discovering and educating the next Dalai Lama.

However, the search will only begin after the current Dalai Lama dies.

Asked if he had a message for Singaporean Buddhists in the light of Sars and the gloomy economic outlook, he said: 'We have to help the poor, do more positive acts that will help others, and practise more generosity even though we might be down financially.'