News and Views on Tibet

Dialogue key to Tibet issue, His Holiness tells Tibetans in SF

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By Kalsang Rinchen

SAN FRANCISCO, February 23: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama told Tibetans living here that the issue of Tibet must be resolved through dialogue with China and not by seeking any outside support. The 78 year old Nobel Laureate recalled a conversation he had with the late Indian PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956 and 1959. “I remember him (Nehru) telling me that the only way to resolve the issue was to talk with China and not by seeking support from outside including the UN,” His Holiness said.

His Holiness was speaking to a gathering of Tibetans after consecrating Deshi Phunstok Ling, the new community building of the Tibetan Association of Northern California. His Holiness spent a brief time in the main hall of the community building acquired by the Tibetan association. He said culture is very essential in unity and cohesiveness of a community living abroad. While appreciating the works done by TANC in preserving Tibetan culture His Holiness said the community centre must not just be a gathering space for prayers and rituals but a true learning center.

The Tibetan leader said the exile Tibetan administration’s policy of middle way approach to resolve the issue of Tibet is gaining more and more support internationally, especially from Chinese people. “If we sought separation from China it would be difficult for our supporters including the US, India, EU to support us like they do now.”

Mayor of Richmond, Gayle McLaughlin, who declared the day as the Dalai Lama day and expressed her gratitude to the Tibetan leader for gracing the city of Richmond with his presence, accompanied His Holiness at the inauguration of the community hall. She also took pride in hosting the home of Tibetan culture in her city.

The Tibetan leader said those in exile living scattered in free nations must not forget the Tibetan root in them. “There is no way of changing the Tibetan blood, the Tibetan bone and the Tibetan flesh in you.”

The Tibetan leader said the Tibetans must uphold the traditional values rooted deep in the Tibetan culture which he said was compassionate in nature. “Wherever we go Tibetans are looked at as compassionate people, and that legacy must be maintained no matter where we live,” said His Holiness to a crowd comprising mostly of younger generations born in exile.

He said while the Tibetans inside Tibet have no freedom those in exile must remember that their brethren in Tibet place high hopes in them. “You should not just run after making your own living or raising your own families. You have a responsibility as Tibetans living in a free world.”

His Holiness then drove to the Berkeley School where he gave a talk on How to achieve happiness to an audience of around 3000 people. Also present on the stage with His Holiness was Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

The Tibetan leader said all religions serve the same purpose though philosophies may be different from each other. He said real happiness lies not in material wellbeing but in spiritual wellbeing. He lauded India for being a home to a diverse religious culture comprising of all kinds of religion existing together harmoniously. The talk, organized by the Tibetan Association of Northern California, was streamed live on the Internet. Following His Holiness’ departure from the venue, Tibetans gathered for a cultural program by the Tibetan children and monks of Drepung Loseling. An estimated 2000 Tibetans live in various cities of Northern California.

His Holiness is scheduled to participate in a discussion on Compassion and Business at Santa Clara University organized by CCARE and Santa Clara University in San Jose.

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