News and Views on Tibet

Dalai Lama saddened by Kerala fire mishap, donates for relief work

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By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, April 13: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed sadness over the mishap in Puttingal Devi temple in Kollam in south Indian state of Kerala where a firework show turned disastrous killing over a hundred people and injuring hundreds.

The 81 year old Tibetan leader, in a letter addressed to Kerala Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy, mentioned, “I would like to express my condolences to you and the families who have lost loved ones, as well as those who were injured in this devastating tragedy.”

His Holiness further wrote, “I understand that everything is being done to treat those injured and that rescue and relief efforts are well underway. As a token of my sympathy, I would like to make a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust towards the relief efforts.”

The pyrotechnic tragedy has claimed 113 lives according to Indian media reports with 25 in critical condition.

Seven office-bearers of the temple trust responsible for the “competitive firework show” have been interrogated by the local police. Public anguish and families of victims are crying foul as the organizers had already been denied permission by the Collector.

The fireworks show is part of an annual festival at the 500-year-old Puttingal Devi Temple of Paravur municipality in Kollam, Kerela.

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