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UN Member States Raise Concern Over Repression by China in Tibet

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UNHRC 51st Session

Geneva: UN Member States raised concern over China’s systematic repression in Tibet in the ongoing 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. States have highlighted “draconian controls” over freedom of expression and other human rights violations by China, including in Tibet.

States including the United States, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania and the European Union, on behalf of 27 member states, expressed concern over the situation in Tibet, while bringing the spotlight on human rights violations by China.

The delegate of the United States expressed concern about “serious human rights abuses” committed by China. With regard to Tibet, the United States remains concerned over “severe repression against Tibetans and their distinct religious, linguistic and cultural identity” in Tibet.

Delivering the statement of the European Union, on behalf of the 27 member states, the Czech Republic said the “latest documentations confirm the seriousness of the human rights situation in China”, including in Tibet. The EU urged China to “abide by its obligations under national and international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms for all”, including in Tibet.

Aligning with the EU statement, Denmark is “deeply concerned” by human rights violations by China, including in Tibet. Germany and Lithuania echoed the same concern over the “disturbing” situation in China, including in Tibet.

Furthermore, Sweden remained “deeply” concerned over the human rights situation in China, including in Tibet. Sweden urged China to “respect international law including human rights, especially the right to freedom of expression and the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”

Recalling the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Form of Slavery Mr Tomoya Obokata, Switzerland expressed concern over arrangements of forced labour by China, including in Tibet. Switzerland said the findings from the report of the Special Rapporteur and that of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Xinjiang indicated that “some of the human rights violations” by China “could constitute crimes against humanity”.

Delegates from Japan, Iceland, Finland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom, along with others continued to remain concerned over human rights violations by China.

– Report filed by Tibet Bureau in Geneva.

Global Leaders in Public and Private Sectors Call for United Voice for Peace as an Institution

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Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of LightChairman Man Hee Lee of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL)

 

 

By  —  Shyamal Sinha

On September 18th, the 8th Anniversary of the September 18th HWPL World Peace Summit was held online with the theme of ‘Peace as an Institution: A Foundation for Sustainable Development’. This event held across the world in 146 countries (including Maldives, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan), with 5,000 participants aired online to reaffirm the importance of the sustainable development guaranteed by institutionalizing peace while the global community has yet to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and faces another threats caused by the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Since September 18th in 2014 when the peace summit was held for the first time, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), an international peace NGO under the UN ECOSOC, has called for solidarity for peacebuilding at the global level through collective actions with various actors including heads of state, ministers, law makers, religious leaders, educators, youth and women leaders, and reporters. This annual summit shares peace activities and achievements in cooperation with governments and civil society around the world every year.

Regarding the cause of peacebuilding at the global level, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL said, “The global village has suffered from the unexpected COVID-19 that has hit every country. People are not alone in the midst of difficulties. We live in the same global village, and we are neighbors and families. Each one of us is the one who are obliged to make our world a better place to live. And shouldn’t we pass on our good world to our descendants?”

H.E. Marinus Bee, the chairperson of the National Assembly of Suriname, expressed his willingness to establish peace at the legislative level by saying, “The role of parliaments in building peace and preventing conflict is crucial.” He added, “In collaboration with HWPL the National Assembly would like to establish a framework of cooperation in achieving cessation of war and spread a culture of peace through activities to raise awareness of peace and encourage policies and programs regarding peace education.”

Octavia Alfred, Octavia Alfred, Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and Nation Excellence of Dominica, said that HWPL’s peace education was introduced to the national school curriculum in Dominica as it was “integrated into Social Studies, and also as a stand-alone.” For the reason to develop the educational source into the civics curriculum in the country, she said that the HWPL peace curriculum is helpful “in addressing the challenges of … not just students, but even what they take home to their friends and their parents, and also out teachers.”

In celebration of this ceremony, various events was held online and offline by Western Busan & Gyeongnam Branch. On September 18, the Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop (YEPW) will be held at the office of YPSA (Young Power Social In Action) in Chittagong. Through this workshop, the issues and development plans of the basic educational welfare rights of Bangladeshi youth discussed.

On September 20, a “Peace-Drawing Activity” was held offline at Mukhtar School in Bactra, Afghanistan. Mursal Sattari, who is hosting the event there, is working as a peace teacher after completing the training of HWPL, and Principal Mohammad Nadir Azedpana was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for HWPL on the same day. Teacher Mursal Satari said, “We appreciate HWPL’s support for Afghanistan, and we are very happy that the entire school has become a member of HWPL through this event.” Meanwhile, in October, the “Peace-Eco Flogging Activity” will be held with the Maldives Maamendhoo School.

On the same day, journalists from the Maldives and Pakistan gather online to hold a meeting under the theme of “Peace Journalism I Want to Achieve.” It was announce the current state of the media in the two countries and share the vision of a peaceful media as a journalist.

 Shan Anees, a Maldives lawyer and journalist for Rajje TV, defined peace media as “the dissemination and acquisition of important information for cooperation and coexistence between members of society and between countries.” and “Peace Journalism is a relatively less well-known term in the field of journalism, but if fact-checks are used to stabilize society, peace media will be accessible,” suggested Zahra Kazmi, a freelance Pakistani journalist.

The World Alliance of Religions’ Peace (WARP) Offices in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Nagpur, India, regularly compare religious texts for religious peace, including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Anglican church, Protestantism, Sikhism, and Islam. On September 25, these religious people gathered online to hold a “Reading and Awarding Poems and Letters of Peace with Hearts for Religious Peace.”

Sources  – HWPL

First Day of the Dialogue with United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth Leaders

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Mohamed from Somalia sharing his experiences on the first day of dialogue with United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth leaders at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 22, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor.

Dharamshala: When His Holiness the Dalai Lama entered the audience room at his residence this morning to meet young leaders and peace-builders from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), he carefully scanned their faces and warmly wished them, “Good morning.”

David Yang, Vice President for Applied Conflict Transformation at USIP, as the moderator announced that this was the seventh interaction between His Holiness and USIP delegates. He explained that today and tomorrow His Holiness would engage with 26 young leaders from 12 conflict-affected regions. He mentioned that over the last two years the meeting had taken the form of an online virtual dialogue, but that they were now happy to be back in person.

Part of the young leaders training has involved story-telling and Yang made clear that they wanted to share with His Holiness how children of war can become leaders for peace. There would be four themes: belonging, compassion, inner peace, as well as equality and justice.

Kuol from South Sudan, who is using his bitter experience of being a child soldier to build peace and make sure no child carries guns at a tender age, opened the conversation. He spoke of the time when war was at its peak in his country, when there were no men left in the villages, only women and children. Whenever a family had two boys, one was taken to become a soldier. Now he wants to give them access to education and other opportunities.

Ruby from Syria realized that achieving peace requires anthropological and ethnographic sensitivity and studied accordingly. She has been working on projects related to peace-building, justice, women’s rights, and climate issues. She talked about her realization that men and women are equally capable, but both need to be powerful and strong.

Angela from Colombia is a psychologist who has focussed on non-formal education methodologies, workshops, leadership and soft-skills development with teenagers and adults. She too stressed the need for people in conflict affected areas to be strong and brave, and to become part of the solution.

Okash from Somalia, whose work focusses on social innovation, education, employment and entrepreneurship as tools for eradicating poverty and building sustainable peace, spoke of a turning point when he encountered two men with guns. One was a former classmate. He resolved to become an educator to impart skills that would enable such people to get jobs and contribute to building a peaceful Somalia.

Mojisola from Nigeria actively engages in the fields of gender, peace-building and human rights. She facilitates workshops on women, youth, peace and security, using story-telling, role play and dialogue. She described the troubles her mother faced and her efforts to create a club for women to support each other and help each other withstand prejudice and pressure.

Leonardo from Colombia works in the arts, alternative development and constant learning. He has brought together former FARC combatants and ordinary citizens through the exchange of hand-written letters. Finding himself alone in a school room brought home to him the importance of ensuring that no one feels left behind or left out. It is important, he says, to make sure people feel they belong.

Responding to the first set of presentations, His Holiness declared:

“We have to make an effort to create a more peaceful world and a happier humanity. We can identify differences between us in terms of race, nationality, and religion, but we would be better instead to think of humanity as a whole. We all have equal rights. We are all born from a mother and most of us drink her milk. We depend on her kindness from the start of our lives. Warm-heartedness is an appropriate response.

“Modern education tends to focus on material goals rather than inner values. It seems to encourage a sense of ‘us’ and ‘them’, instead of emphasising that we are essentially the same and we have to live together.

“Each of us has two eyes, one nose, one mouth. If one of us were to have three eyes, that would be a surprise. If we examine our brains, they are equally complex. Therefore, we have to encourage a strong sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.

“As I said we’re all born the same way, and in the end we all die the same way. When that happens, it’s not ceremony that’s important, but whether we have the warm affection of relatives and friends around us. As I told former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, I expect to live another 15 or 20 years, but when I die, I’d prefer to be free and surrounded by friends in India not hard-hearted Chinese Communist officials.

“Freedom is important in our lives. We need to be free to be able to exercise our brains, to be able always to ask, “Why?” From this point of view totalitarian systems are wholly unfavourable. It’s freedom that fosters warm-heartedness and compassion, which in turn lead to inner peace. When you’re warm-hearted there’s no basis to be afraid. Fear is bad for the mind and too easily leads to anger. And anger is the real foe of peace of mind.

“I practise compassion, so wherever I go, I smile and feel happy. As human beings we have to find how to live together in peace.”

Questioned about what makes a good leader, His Holiness stressed the advantages of elected leadership. Asked how to overcome anger, he suggested examining the circumstances that prompt those who make you angry to do so. He recommended taking a wider, longer-term view. Invited to suggest how men and women can learn to live together, he simply observed that men need women and women need men, and everyone laughed.

A second set of story-tellers spoke about compassion. Sebastian Ernesto Ruano Rodriguez from Colombia, who has contributed to issues of peace-making, problem solving, government and strengthening democracy in different parts of the world, recalled confronting a combatant. He described how his own hostile feelings dissolved when a small girl appeared and his opponent picked her up and hugged her.

Helina from Ethiopia, who wants to make a difference by empowering young leaders to participate in peace projects and reduce risk and inequity in vulnerable communities, suggested that to bring about change, we have to appreciate humanity.

His Holiness intervened to voice his well-known admiration for the spirit of the European Union (EU). He remains impressed that after centuries of conflict between France and Germany, following the Second World War Adenauer and de Gaulle founded the EU. Since then, there has been no violence among the Union’s members. He suggested that the rest of the world would do well to follow this example in pursuit of peace. What’s crucial, he said, is to achieve inner peace, but you can’t buy peace of mind in a shop. It’s not something that can be produced in a factory.

Anna from Venezuela reported her indignation at seeing tanks on the streets of her country. She challenged them with only a wooden shield for protection. She felt quite alone, distressed to see so much destruction. Once back in a safe place she asked herself how this could happen and is now dedicated to helping young people, especially women, work to build peace.

Wonderful, His Holiness replied. We all want to be happy and to live in peace. But we have to work for it taking the whole of humanity into account.

“We need to aim for a completely demilitarized world,” he added. “I’m from Tibet where Chinese Communists have everything under tight control. But the Tibetan spirit is strong and we have preserved the Nalanda Tradition. Instead of relying on guns, we cultivate compassion. Six million Tibetans put their faith in what the Buddha taught about forgiveness and compassion.

“And because climate change is so serious, we must also pay attention to ecology.”

Denis from South Sudan works as a journalist reporting on the environment and peace-building—including water management, pollution, and climate change. He reported that he has seen so many violations of human rights, but what inspires him is the example of people like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi who worked to create peaceful societies free from hatred and grief.
Paska, also from South Sudan, speaks about social issues with specific focus on peace, gender, culture and history. She is trying to transform lives through evidence-based advocacy and campaigning for peaceful change. When conflict broke out in 2013, she crossed the border into Uganda and met an old man who told her how he felt he’d always been running away. When she returned, she was very moved by the story of a woman beaten to death by her brother for refusing to marry a man her family had chosen for her. She felt a strong need to do something about it—not to run away any more. She is determined that women and girls should have a choice.

Noral from Nigeria, recalled his ninth birthday, when his mother had prepared his favourite rice dish for him. That very day three men broke in and raped and murdered his mother in front of him. He described how hard it is to get over what happened even 20 years later, but he is committed to seeing that women are no longer subject to violence and rape.

Responding to David Yang’s asking how he has been able to sustain compassion in his own life, His Holiness declared:

“I believe that as human beings we are all fundamentally compassionate. We have to build a world founded on human values—a demilitarized world, a world no longer dependent on the use of weapons. When people fight and die, their minds are not at peace, but we can imagine building a world based on compassion.”

Asked what qualities are required to bring about peace, His Holiness remarked:

“I’m a Buddhist and as soon as I wake every morning, I remind myself that all human beings are the same as me—we all want to be happy. I resolve to use my life to ensure that other beings are happy. It’s compassion that brings about peace of mind, not anger and hatred, so we need to focus on the whole of humanity as being our brothers and sisters.”

His Holiness recommended putting negative experiences behind us and setting positive goals. He said it’s possible to teach people to be more compassionate because we all have a seed of compassion from the start of our lives—we just have to nurture it. The key factor is to cultivate warm-heartedness.

David Yang summarized a session that had touched on belonging and the warmth of family and community bonds.

“I’m honoured to be meeting with people who have their future ahead of them,” His Holiness remarked. “How we live from day to day affects our future. I repeat, warm-heartedness is the key factor. I think about it always because it’s warm-heartedness that brings us peace of mind. See you tomorrow.”

David Yang, Vice President for Applied Conflict Transformation at USIP, listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama responding to the first set of presentations on the first day of dialogue with USIP Youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 22, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor.

 

Sebastian from Colombia sharing is story on the first day of dialogue with United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth leaders at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 22, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor.

Denis from South Sudan delivering his presentation on the first day of dialogue with United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth leaders at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 22, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor.

Second Day of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Dialogue with USIP Youth Leaders

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dalailama.com

The moderator David Yang opening the second day of dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

This morning the meeting between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and United States Institute of Peace youth leaders resumed. David Yang, the moderator, reminded everyone that yesterday they had discussed how children of war can become leaders for peace. He asserted that peace-building is a spiritual effort and that after exploring belonging and compassion yesterday, the themes for discussion today would be inner peace and a commitment to equality and justice.

To start with, Angie from Colombia, a psychologist who is passionate about social challenges, diversity and multiculturalism spoke of her love of education and learning. In her work she tries to make education more attractive to more people.

Esra from Sudan is deeply involved with content creation and using it to make a difference, helping individuals and organizations fulfil their vision. She tries to make a positive impact on society and is active in education and peace-building through her writings and educational courses. It’s by engaging in education that Esra’s students learn about inner peace.

Patrick from South Sudan takes a special interest in youth, peace and security. He strongly advocates youth participation in policy development and decision making for positive change. He explained how in 2016 he found himself stranded in another country and realized how tired he was of not being able to contribute to salvaging his own country. This prompted him to engage in peace-building with other young people.

Arij from Tunisia is a debate facilitator. When she began to speak in public, she was nervous, but has acquired strong public speaking skills that have enabled her to deliver workshops on different themes related to peace and make a positive influence. Having gained confidence herself, she has learned to train others to speak out too. She remarked that some people lose hope that Tunisia will ever find peace, but she is determined not to despair.

Hazhir is a Kurd from Iraq. He is a political and economic analyst and journalist who covered the ISIS war. Since then, he has been involved with providing shelter and food to refugees. He says that when he asked himself what he wanted, he realized that, most of all, he and the people of Kurdistan wanted equality. He stated that it’s difficult to feel inner peace when others routinely deceive you and deny your rights. It’s in such a context that Kurds are trying to preserve their identity.

Hazar, a Kurd from Irag sharing his story on the second day of the dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Roya from Libya, is focussed on leading and supporting projects that drive peace and reconciliation, arts and cultural engagement, development, economic stability and education. She says that having realized that she had the ability to bring about change, she makes a point of encouraging others likewise to understand that each one of us can help others. We can make a difference.

Sophia from Venezuela recounted that she and her best friend ran for election as Secretary General of their school United Nations organization. The students first gave the impression that Sophia’s friend would be most suited and that she would be least suited to the role. However, everyone was taken by surprise when she was actually elected. She said she learned that if you’re going to be a leader you have to be confident.

David Yang told His Holiness that he is regarded as a leader with regard to inner peace. He asked him to describe how he felt when he had to leave Tibet.

“First of all, there was a danger to my community and to my own life,” His Holiness replied. “I escaped because the situation had become urgent. When the Chinese military officers wanted to know where the Dalai Lama was staying within the Norbulingka Palace, we didn’t know if it was so they could provide protection from bombardment, as they claimed, or so they could more readily target me. Once I’d become a refugee, I felt happier because I was free.

“In today’s circumstances, all seven billion human beings alive today want equality. As I’ve said, we are all the same. No one is better or more deserving than anyone else. The UN should not only involve political leaders but representatives of ordinary human beings. We need to look realistically at the situation we find ourselves in because we all have to live together.

A view of the meeting room at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence on the second day of the dialogue with United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“We need to think more about what the common interest is, much like the European Union. We need a Union of Humanity.”

In answering questions put to him by the youth leaders His Holiness talked about reaching decisions. He explained that, although he has resigned from all political activity, whenever there is a decision to be made, he always consults the people involved.

His Holiness was asked whether some of his people may have wanted to fight back against the Chinese. He agreed that some did. However, he described it as an emotional response rather than the result of thinking things through in a realistic way. Thirty years ago, he said, world opinion counted for less. Today, it can make a difference. Now, he reaffirmed, is a time when problems should be resolved through dialogue.

He reiterated that it’s basic human nature to be compassionate. He said we can see this among children who don’t concern themselves with superficial differences. To discriminate between this or that race, nationality or religion is an old way of thinking.

“When we left Tibet,” His Holiness clarified, “we did think in terms of differences between Tibetans and Chinese Communists. If we had considered what we had in common as human beings and that the land belongs to humanity in general the outcome might have been different.

“I feel we shouldn’t focus too much on what is past. We have to look at things from different angles. As it’s turned out, I’ve found it helpful to have become a refugee.”

His Holiness the Dali Lama answering a question from one of the United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders during their dialogue at his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Asked whether there will be a fifteenth Dalai Lama and if there is, where will he be born, His Holiness replied with a chuckle that that was his business.

“I’m now 87 and I think I can live for another 15 or 20 years, so whether or not there will be a fifteenth Dalai Lama is not my main concern right now. Probably I’ll be born on this planet because I have a connection to this world. The first Dalai Lama said he wanted to be born in Tibet so he could continue to serve the Tibetan people and the Buddhadharma.

“My determination is to serve sentient beings, but I’m especially familiar with this planet and its people. But where I’ll be born, I don’t know. I have a connection to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. I’m something like his representative, so it may be a matter of his wish.

“There is a famous lake in Tibet and three letters were revealed on its surface which indicated where I had been born. A for Amdo, Ka for Kumbum and Ma referring to my name Lhamo Dhondup. Employing such mysterious forces can help us see further ahead.”

David Yang introduced five more youth leaders who would talk about equality and justice.

Gloria from South Sudan is deeply concerned about human rights and civic rights issues. She pushed for tax exemptions on sanitary products to scale down gender inequality, especially in schools. She told the story of a school friend who was taken by surprise when she had her first period at school. Despite her friends’ help she felt shamed by the jeering comments of other classmates. Next day she didn’t come to school.

Gloria from South Sudan delivering her presentation on the second day of the dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Gloria asked herself why a natural bodily function would bring such shame. She resolved that she had to do something to help girls understand their bodies and reduce the stigma of menstruation. She was keenly aware that girls also have a right to education.

His Holiness commented that decisions should not be made under threat of force or as a result of bullying. That’s an old way of thinking. Now, we’re all equal and have a right to decide things for ourselves.

Mamdouh from Syria led two peace-building and development projects during wartime helping war casualties, people with disabilities, local communities and internal refugees. He described being frustrated trying to bring about change. He said he’s been banging on doors for ten years—sometimes they open, sometimes they don’t. We are trying, he declared, and we can all help.

Mohamed from Somalia has hands-on experience in areas of post-conflict justice, local government and peace-building. He spoke of meeting a woman whose legal case had been dragging on for years. He saw this as a case of justice delayed being justice denied. He observed that although rights are laid out in the constitution, people can’t exercise them. Many have left the country in search of other options, but he feels that if he doesn’t stay, who will stay to build a more peaceful Somalia?

His Holiness remarked that the world is becoming more democratic, so people can raise their voices and their voices can be heard.

Isabela from Colombia is moved to defend human dignity and fundamental rights. She told of her shock when her mother told her that her father had shown her how to use a gun when she was only four years old and placed a gun under her pillow by way of defence. Isabela asked herself why people should live in fear like that and decided to become a lawyer. She is concerned to protect human dignity and to see that all children have access to education.

Isabela from Colombia sharing her story on the second day of the dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and United States Insitute of Peace (USIP) youth leaders in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 23, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

Nissa from Libya announced that she is a climate change activist. She described being moved by the film, An Inconvenient Truth, which woke her up to facts about pollution and climate change. She decided to teach children about these things and was baffled to find that children can readily understand what global leaders apparently cannot.

“Climate change is serious,” His Holiness agreed. “We have to take steps to green the world by planting and taking care of more trees. I was recently in Ladakh where the dry, sandy environment is changing because there are more trees. Faced with a crisis like climate change we cannot afford to fight among ourselves. We have to work together.”

Responding to questions again, His Holiness repeated that we need to look at things from a wider perspective. With regard to Tibet, he mentioned Tibetans’ deep cultural heritage, which includes a profound understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. This culture has been kept alive. He noted wryly that very few Tibetans had become Communists, but quite a number of Chinese had become Buddhists.

His Holiness reported that professors in Chinese universities have read books published by Tibetans in exile on science and philosophy in Buddhist literature. They have acknowledged that Tibetan Buddhism has indeed preserved the Nalanda Tradition, which adopts a scientific, investigative approach.

Asked how to achieve justice without losing compassion, His Holiness observed that the important thing was to avoid doing harm. He added that helping sentient beings can be a source of great satisfaction.

“All of us,” he added, “animals as well, have basic rights that we need to protect.”

Asked to say how you make your voice heard, His Holiness replied that first you should be honest and second you should act out of compassion. That’s the right thing to do. The main thing is to forgive and practise compassion.

David Yang thanked members of His Holiness’s office, his attendants, and the audio-visual team. He thanked the 26 youth leaders who represent hope for the future. And finally, he thanked His Holiness for his inspiring contribution.

His Holiness responded, “Thank you. As part of the seven billion human beings alive today we have a responsibility to work to create a happy humanity and a peaceful world.”

He then invited the youth leaders and supporting USIP staff to join him for lunch.

Sikyong Attends Seminar on Tibet, Uyghur and Southern Mongolia in Tokyo

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Sikyong Penpa Tsering addressing the seminar on Tibet, Uyghur and Southern Mongolia.

Tokyo: Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration attended a seminar on building common ground to seek international support to end the extermination of the identity of Tibetans, Uyghurs and Southern Mongolia under China’s repressive rule on 23 September 2022.

The representatives of Uyghurs and Southern Mongolia are among the main panelists at the seminar titled “Building Common Ground: Occupied Nations under CCP Regime”, which was jointly organized by Tibet House Japan and Free Tibet Network.

Sikyong said the biggest threat facing Tibet today is the Chinese government’s policy to exterminate the Tibetan language. “Tibetan children from the age of 3 have been put up in colonial boarding schools away from their parents and culture, as a result they can’t speak Tibetan,” he said.

Sikyong said it is vital to protect the Tibetan plateau for the survival of 1.8 billion people in Asia who depend freshwater from the world’s ten major rivers originating from Tibet. Drawing attention to the drying up of Yangtse river in China, Sikyong said the climate change in Tibet will have serious repercussion in the neighbouring regions.

Reinforcing repression and surveillance of Tibetans, the Chinese government has taken DNA from more than 1 million Tibetans without their permission from 2016 to 2022, Sikyong said.

Speaking on the mismanagement of the Chinese government on Covid measures, Sikyong said Tibetans are suffering immensely, as in the capital Lhasa alone, more than 20 to 30 percent of Tibetans have been forcibly moved out of the city in very bad condition and put them up including sick ones together in one room with no proper food and medicine.

View of the seminar on Tibet, Uyghur and Southern Mongolia in Tokyo.

Sikyong reiterated that Tibet was an independent country before it was invaded by the Chinese government in 1949. Sikyong further said books by eminent Dutch scholar Michael van Walt van Praag and Chinese professor Lau substantiated the historical fact that Tibet has never been a part of China since antiquity. The world governments saying that “Tibet is part of China” at the behest of the Chinese government is going against the international law.

Sikyong called on the Japanese government to appoint special coordinator on China to address the grievances of Tibetans, Uyghurs and southern Mongolians.

Sikyong said the international community, including Japan, must stand up to the Chinese government to protect freedom, democracy and rule of law. China outwardly looks powerful economically and militarily, but it is bereft of moral power and hence very insecure, he added.

Mr. Uda Kerimu, Chairman of Japan Uyghur Association, expressed grave concern over the serious human abuses in Uyghur perpetrated by the Chinese government, which the UNHCR said in its recent report as crime against humanity He called on the international community press China to end the cultural genocide in Uyghur.

Mr. Olhunud Daichin of South Mongolia Congress said the massive transfer of Chinese into Southern Mongolia has overwhelmed the Mongolians and turned them an insignificant minority in their own land.

Mr. Shimomura Hakubun, the chairman of the chairman of the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, Mitsubayashi Hirumi, Secretary of the Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Uyghur, Sakurai Yoshiko, President of National Institute of Fundamentals and Mr. Makino Seishu, Chairman of the Free Tibet Network and Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan and East Asia, attended the seminar.

Addressing a press conference after the seminar, Sikyong said the Central Tibetan Administration is firmly committed to Middle Way Approach to resolve the issue of Tibet through dialogue with the Chinese government.

-Report filed by Kashag Secretariat

Mr. Shimomura Hakubun, Chairman of the All Party Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, speaking at the seminar.

Sikyong with other panelists and Japanese MPs at the seminar.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama awarded Spendlove Prize

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By   — Shyamal Sinha

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Photo: OOHDL.

 Tibetan Spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the 15th honorary recipient of the Alice and Clifford Spendlove Prize in Social Justice, Diplomacy and Tolerance for his life-long advocacy for peace, compassion and kindness.   A celebration honouring the 15th prize recipient via a pre-recorded presentation will take place on Monday, 26 September.

His Holiness was officially presented with the Spendlove Prize in a virtual ceremony held on 18 September, prior to the observance of the International Day of Peace on 21 September where this year’s theme “End racism. Build peace” was declared by the UN.

“In our increasingly politically-divided and highly confrontational world, the messages of kindness, peace, compassion and forgiveness of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama are helpful, not only in advancing sustainable social justice using non-violent methods but also as a path to better interpersonal relations and a more meaningful life,” said Sherrie Spendlove, who established the Spendlove Prize at UC Merced which was founded in 2005 in honour of her parents, Alice and Clifford Spendlove who dedicated their entire lives for citizens, youth and students of the Merced region.

“In naming the Dalai Lama the latest recipient of the Spendlove Prize, UC Merced recognizes a global spiritual leader committed to expressing the importance of happiness, compassion, warm-heartedness, self-discipline, friendship and human solidarity amongst our diversity,” said Professor Nigel Hatton, with the Department of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, and moderator of the presentation.

“This has been the Dalai Lama’s goal across several decades of leadership, countless speeches and teachings to communities across the world, and now, a great trove of inspirational and informative social media posts,” said Hatton. “His Holiness embodies not only the importance of spiritual life, but also the examined mind. As he recently noted, ‘since human beings have a natural ability to think things through, education is a key factor in creating a better future.’

“His sustained commitment to these and other important human values led the Spendlove Prize Selection Committee to name His Holiness the 15th recipient of the prize, uniting him with his friend, former President Jimmy Carter, as distinguished Spendlove laureates.”

The Spendlove Prize Selection Committee is chaired by School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Dean Jeffrey Gilger, Sherrie Spendlove as a representative from the Spendlove family, Hatton as a faculty member, and Lee Anderson and Charlie Bennett as community representatives. Every year, an individual or an inspirational figure is honoured with the Spendlove award for serving as an active role model for students, faculty and the community surrounding UC Merced. The prize has an annual value of $15,000.

Those interested in attending the pre-recorded presentation must register online prior to the event.

source  — CTA

 

 

Exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama to visit Sikkim in October

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The Sikkimese delegation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Wednesday in Dharamshala (Photo/East Mojo)

By Choekyi Lhamo

The octogenarian Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be making a visit to Sikkim on October 28, Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs of Sikkim Sonam Lama said Wednesday. A delegation from the Sikkim government led by Lama called upon the Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamshala on Sept. 14.

The delegation including Lama and department secretary Passang D. Phempu met the Buddhist leader and delivered a letter from Chief Minister P. S. Tamang inviting him to Sikkim, to which the Dalai Lama agreed. “I am joyful that His Holiness accepted the invitation to visit our state. His benign presence will be a great privilege for the devotees to seek his blessings,” Sikkim CM Prem Singh Tamang said.

The Dalai Lama accepting the invitation expressed his keen desire to visit Sikkim, which he said has always been dear to him, Minister Sonam Lama told the press. The representatives said that the octogenarian leader expressed gratitude for the five-day visit invitation and enquired about the well-being of the Sikkimese people.

The Nobel laureate had last visited the state of Sikkim in 2010; the Dalai Lama was scheduled to visit in 2018 but it was cancelled due to his health concerns.

The exiled Buddhist leader’s last trip was to Ladakh where he gave a three-day teaching at the end of July. The teaching in Ladakh marked His Holiness’ first visit to the region since 2019. According to the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s website, the Tibetan leader’s next scheduled event online is set from Oct. 3 to 5 for a three-day teachings on tsema namdrel (Dharmakirti’s Commentary on the Valid Cognition) in Dharamshala at the request of the Taiwanese devotees.

Three days’ National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala concludes today

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By  —  Shyamal Sinha

The three days National Conference of State Tourism Ministers at Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh concluded today in the presence of Union Tourism Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy. Tourism Ministers of 12 States including Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Haryana, Mizoram, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh attended the conference.

During concluding remarks, Shri G Kishan Reddy thanked all the State delegates  and sector representatives for their valuable suggestions. Shri Reddy urged that all states share and adopt best practices to boost the tourism sector. States must organise such conferences at state level with district officers of different departments and stake holders to improve and promote tourism destinations. Shri Reddy emphasised on the importance of Yuva Tourism Clubs and said these clubs can became game changer for the sector.

Shri Reddy also informed that National Flag will be installed at tourist places. He also appealed to the states and stakeholders to install flag at all hotels and tourist places. The Union Minister said that such conferences will be organised from time to time to provide an opportunity to learn from one another and hoped that this will yield desired results very soon.

Talking about the outcome of the conference, Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh  said India will play a pivotal role in contributing towards global tourism recovery driven mainly through domestic tourism. All the major tourism indices have started showing signs of recovery towards the pre pandemic levels such as domestic air passenger traffic, hotel occupancy and tourist footfalls. The National Tourism Policy has been drafted with a holistic vision and strategy to revive India’s Tourism and targets to achieve USD 1 Trillion by the sector in 2047. Against this backdrop, the Ministry is also paving the way for developing responsible and sustainable tourism destinations. The Government of India will continue to support MSMEs in tourism and capitalise on the employment generation potential in the sector. Various initiatives under the ongoing schemes of the Ministry of Tourism are planned to be strengthened to ensure complete recovery from the disruption caused to the tourism economy due to the pandemic.

Shri Arvind further said that India plans to position itself as a major tourism destination during its presidency of G20 for 2023. We plan to ensure due rigour, dedication and showcase our cultural richness while welcoming the world to our nation. We plan to bring in necessary interventions including Visa Reforms, Ease of Travel, traveller friendly Immigration Facilities at Airports and openness to international travel and these major topics were deliberated during the two-day meet.

Informing about the goals for the India Tourism Sector for 2024 he said that we will strive to recover to pre-pandemic level by mid 2024. The country is estimated to achieve 50 Bn USD GDP contribution from Tourism, 30 Bn USD in Foreign Exchange Earnings and 15 Mn foreign arrivals by 2024.

He further said that India is estimated to grow at 7-9% CAGR in the coming decade and 250 Bn USD GDP contribution from Tourism, 137 Mn jobs in the Tourism sector, 56 Bn USD in Foreign Exchange Earnings and 25 Million foreign arrivals are expected to be achieved by 2030. We commit to deliver plans aligned with these goals and commitments to ensure positioning of India as one of the leaders in the tourism sector by 2047.

 

On the last day of conference sessions on Role of digital technology for the marketing and promotion of tourism destinations, Emerging importance of homestays in the Indian hospitality sector, Ayurveda, Wellness, and Medical Value travel, and lastly on Forest and wildlife tourism were organized.  Secretary Electronics and Information Technology, GoI Shri Alkesh Sharma, Secretary Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, GoI Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant, Member NITI Aayog Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Additional Secretary Health & Family Welfare Shri Lav Agarwal, Secretary Tourism Shri Arvind Singh, DG Tourism Shri G. Kamala Vardhana Rao and other senior officers of the Ministries also graced the event.

source  — PIB

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi a Happy Birthday

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seventy-second birthday His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to him to offer his warmest good wishes and prayers for his continued good health.

“It’s wonderful,” His Holiness wrote, “that India has successfully met the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Although we have not seen the complete end to it, India today is better placed to address similar challenges in the future.

“As the longest-staying guest in India I have observed its development first hand. Now the country is also a rising economic power and a leader in science and technology.

“India’s strong democratic foundation is an example of peace and stability. Having one of the youngest populations is an asset that will enable further development and the fulfilment of positive aspirations. I am delighted to say India is poised to assume its rightful place in the world.

“I have great admiration for the way Mahatma Gandhi made the age-old practice of ‘ahimsa’ appreciated across the world,” His Holiness continued. “May I reiterate that on my part, in addition to seeking to promote this principle wherever possible, I am deeply committed to creating greater awareness of the power of ‘karuna’ to help us all lead a happy and meaningful life. These values are treasures from the Indian tradition.

His Holiness ended his letter with thanks. “Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express deep gratitude to the government and people of India for the warm and generous hospitality we Tibetans have enjoyed since we were forced into exile in 1959.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Conducts First Day of Teachings

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By  — BT Webdesk

This morning, a group of Thai Buddhist monks recited the Mangala Sutta in Pali as His Holiness the Dalai Lama took his seat on the throne in the Tsuglagkhang, the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala. There followed the chanting of the ‘Heart Sutra’ in Chinese, including the prayer that Chinese recite at the end that encapsulates the practice of the Dharma:

A group of Thai Buddhist monks reciting the Mangala Sutta in Pali as His Holiness the Dalai Lama takes his seat at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
A group of Thai Buddhist monks reciting the Mangala Sutta in Pali as His Holiness the Dalai Lama takes his seat at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

May we be able to dispel the three poisons
May the light of insight shine brightly
May we be able to overcome all obstacles
May we be able to engage in the deeds of Bodhisattvas.

His Holiness began by reciting the final verse of homage from Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’:

I prostrate to Gautama
Who, through compassion,
Taught the exalted Dharma,
Which leads to the relinquishing of all (distorted) views.

“Since we suffer because of ignorance,” he explained, “we have to eliminate all distorted views and develop the correct view. If we are to do this, we need to study, reflect on what we’ve learned and meditate on what we’ve understood.

“When I first heard about emptiness, I felt it was good, but it was only after I had studied ‘Fundamental Wisdom’, ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ and its ‘Auto-commentary’ and thought deeply about it that I gained conviction.

“If you think carefully, you’ll see that things don’t exist from their own side. As quantum physicists have observed, things do not exist as they appear. They have no objective existence whatsoever.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“I memorized the ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’ and ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ when I was a boy. The ‘Ornament’ deals mostly with the Bodhisattva paths and grounds, the method aspect of the path. ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ reveals the wisdom understanding emptiness. Distorted views are not dispelled by saying mantras, but by developing understanding. There are different sets of reasonings used to disprove the objective existence of things: the reasoning known as Diamond Slivers, the reasoning refuting existent or non-existent effects, the reasoning refuting the four permutations of arising, the reasoning refuting existence as ‘neither one nor many’ and the great reasoning of dependent arising.

“The verse I recited at the start is powerful because it makes clear that the Buddha taught to help beings eliminate their distorted views. When I reflect on emptiness, I focus on three verses from chapter six of ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ which disclose absurd consequences that would prevail if things were to exist objectively.”

His Holiness noted that the Buddha undertook six years of austere practice and discovered that single-pointed concentration alone did not overcome distorted views. Later, masters like Nagarjuna examined what he taught in the light of logic and reasoning. They made clear that things do not exist as they appear. The Nalanda Tradition emerged from their findings and this tradition survives today.

“As human beings,” His Holiness remarked, “we have the opportunity to study the Dharma, to understand and experience it. When I was young, I memorized important texts, listened to my tutors’ explanations of them and thought about them deeply. In exile, I was able to really reflect on what I’d learned, so, from that point of view, coming into exile was like a blessing in disguise. It’s through study, reflection and meditation that transformation takes place.

“I may not claim to have gained genuine experience, but I’m confident that my efforts have brought me peace of mind. I’m quite relaxed. The key is to tackle our emotions, examining how, for example, anger arises and how it can be subdued. The important thing is not to concern yourself with the next life or achieving omniscience, it’s about learning to deal with negative emotions here and now.

Members of the audience from Southeast Asia listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
Members of the audience from Southeast Asia listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“Relying on the Buddha’s advice that things have no objective existence and the altruistic awakening mind we can bring about change within us. We can learn not to harm others but to help them—we can learn to be warm-hearted,”

His Holiness turned to ‘Entering into the Middle Way’ and its ‘Auto-commentary’. He pointed out that their author, Chandrakirti, was a leading disciple of Nagarjuna. He mentioned that he had received the transmission of the root text from his Abbot, Ling Rinpoché, and the transmission of the auto-commentary from Sakya Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk.

He observed that at the start of his treatise Chandrakirti pays homage to great compassion, alluding to the fact that Buddhas become enlightened through a combination of the awakening mind of bodhicitta that is rooted in compassion and an insight into emptiness.

His Holiness declared that compassion, love and affection are important because life is so much better if we cultivate these qualities. Our mother’s care as soon as we’re born gives us an early lesson in these responses, but we seem to lose interest in them when we go to school because little attention is given to them there. He mentioned his plans to hold discussions with educationists on ways to restore an admiration for love and compassion in the education system.

Recalling that Mahatma Gandhi made the age-old principle of ‘ahimsa’, the idea of non-violence and doing no harm, widely known, His Holiness revealed that today the world needs to learn about compassion.

His Holiness began to read from verse 12 of the first chapter that highlights giving. Reading to the end of the chapter he noted that bodhisattvas are entirely dedicated to the well-being of others. He read on to the fourth verse of the second chapter and announced that he wanted to introduce the all-encompassing yoga mind.

 His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on the first day of his teaching on Chandrakirti's "Entering into the Middle Way" at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking on the first day of his teaching on Chandrakirti’s “Entering into the Middle Way” at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on September 15, 2022. Photo by Tenzin Choejor

“If you think only of yourself,” he suggested, “you’re only concerned with one person. This is a narrow perspective in the context that all other sentient beings are just like you in wanting to avoid suffering and find happiness. A wiser approach to self-interest is to take other beings into account, to think of doing others no harm and helping them as much as possible.

“Next, reflect on how things are empty of objective existence, of independent existence. Chandrakirti describes this realization as follows:

Thus, illuminated by the rays of wisdom’s light,
the bodhisattva sees as clearly as a gooseberry on his open palm
that the three realms in their entirety are unborn from their very start,
and through the force of conventional truth, he journeys to cessation. 6.224

“He goes on to narrate how the bodhisattva, like a king of swans soaring ahead of other accomplished swans, with white wings of conventional and ultimate truths spread wide, propelled by the powerful winds of virtue, cruises to the excellent far shore, the oceanic qualities of the conquerors.

“If you check who you are, your body is not you. Your mind is not you, and yet you have a strong sense of cherishing yourself. Think about how, whether you are going somewhere or simply resting, you cannot pin-point a self in connection with your body or mind. Consequently, you may conclude that the idea of a self is merely designated on the collection of psycho-physical aggregates.”

His Holiness advised his listeners to imagine the awakening mind of bodhichitta appearing as a moon disc at their heart and an understanding of a lack of independent existence as a white vajra standing on the moon. He recommended they recite Om Sarva Yoga Chitta Utpadaya mi three times.

His Holiness divulged that he has seen a change in himself as a result of thinking of bodhichitta and emptiness first thing on waking in the morning for years. He urged his listeners to do the same, to be happy, and to share their experience with others.

Sourced from dalailama.com