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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Dalai Lama's representative visits Parkdale

February 7, 2010

Lobsang Nyandak brings messages of patriotism,
political struggles and being a good person
Inside Toronto (Canada)
February 4, 2010

It was a little too cold for a street tour on
Jan. 29, but through visits with local
politicians, Tibetan leaders and local residents
of the Tibetan community, Lobsang Nyandak made
the most of his first visit to Parkdale.

Nyandak is the Dalai Lama's representative in the
Americas, a role for which he was nominated by
the Tibetan Prime Minister and chosen to fill
from a few candidates by the Dalai Lama himself.

"There are two focus areas for my office to deal
with. One is impressing the situation of Tibetans
with the Canadian government and politicians and
also to inform the Canadian government that His
Holiness is making a visit this October to
Toronto," Nyandak said. "The second (reason) is
to reach out to the Tibetan community based in Canada."

Nyandak is based out of New York City, but
visited Parkdale last week, bringing his messages
from the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the
people of Tibet and the head of the
government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India.

"It is my duty, on behalf of His Holiness, to
convey the messages of His Holiness, in
particular to be a good human being and to
preserve our own cultural identity," Nyandak
said. "Also being a representative of the Tibetan
Government in Exile I have to keep alive the
patriotism within the Tibetan community."

Nyandak said the Dalai Lama has three
commitments: the promotion of human values, the
promotion of religious harmony and understanding,
and working to find an amicable solution to the
political struggle of the Tibetan people.

According to Nyandak the essence of Tibetan
identity rests in things like the Tibetan
language and Tibetan Buddhism, which is extremely
important to Tibetans and has a strong influence
over all aspects of their lives.

"There is the need to preserve our own cultural
identity," he said. "Therefore each and every
Tibetan family member needs to take special
efforts to preserve one's own language and
tradition urging the youngsters to be involved in
many of the community religious activities and
also to participate in many different political
activities in terms of campaigning for the human
rights of Tibetan people, calling for the release
of political prisoners who are languishing in China's prisons in Tibet."

Tibetans living in Canada, Nyandak said, share
the responsibility when their own nation and
people are entering what he called the darkest period in their history.

The territory of Tibet is currently under the
administration of the People's Republic of China,
a situation the Central Tibetan Administration
considers an illegitimate military occupation.

Government of Tibet in Exile exercises many
governmental functions in relation to the Tibetan
exile community in India. It administers schools,
health services and cultural activities.

A large portion of Tibetans living in India are
poor so he said Tibetans living in western
countries have an obligation to reach out and
support their fellow Tibetans and financially
support different humanitarian projects.

"The Tibetans who are living in a democratic
society have a special responsibility to express
voices on behalf of Tibetans inside Tibet," Nyandak said.

There are approximately 5,000 Tibetans living in
Toronto, the majority of them in Parkdale. Both
politically and socially, Nyandak believes
Tibetans here are quite active in preserving
their culture and expressing themselves politically.

"They have established a Tibetan cultural centre
that is a huge success and holds, every weekend,
Tibetan classes for Tibetan youngsters," he said.
"There are also Tibetan non-governmental
organizations like Tibetan Youth Congress who are
actively taking part in political activities."

While in Toronto he met with Parkdale-High Park
MPP Cheri DiNovo at Queens Park to discuss
matters of importance to the Tibetan community.
The visit also gave Nyandak the chance to meet
with leaders and supporters of the Tibetan
community and enjoy a dinner and reception at Le Tibet on Queen Street West.
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