By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 17: The widely circulated claim on social media and micro messaging platforms of the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama giving instructions for the prevention of the COVID-19 virus has been refuted by a senior official in his office as fake news.
Messages that are widely circulated claimed that the Tibetan leader is accumulating a special mantra and that drinking plain black tea would treat the virus. A senior official who was responding to a query on the matter through e-mail wrote,” We want to make it absolutely clear that there is no basis to it”.
“It’s unfortunate that such baseless rumors are being spread unnecessarily. Please let all concerned know that His Holiness did not give such an advice,” the email further stated. Experts say that fear among people has largely been fueled by fake news that add to the confusion through remedies and false instructions regarding the prevention of the virus.
Here in the state of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra district where the exile Tibetan government is based and is the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday announced the implementation of Section 144 amid the outbreak of the virus in neighbouring states. Under the law, any gathering of four or more persons is deemed illegal illegal now.
The Kashag or the executive wing of the exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration on Monday appealed monasteries and schools to close down for a month and urged Tibetans in exile to not hold any gatherings including marriage ceremony, picnics and sport events while declaring that all official trips and workshops are
cancelled. The CTA also appealed people with symptoms to visit the nearest hospital for earliest detection of the virus.