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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets Tibetans, Mongolians and Himalayan Buddhists

April 27, 2009

Central Tibetan Administration
April 26, 2009

His Holiness the Dalai Lama applauds for speeches
being given before his talk at the Greek Theatre
at UC Berkeley. (Paul Chinn / The Chronicle)

Berkeley, CA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
addressed to the members of the Tibetan community
as well as those from Mongolia and the Himalayan
region in Berkeley, a city on the east shore of
San Francisco in northern California, on Saturday.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in San
Francisco from Santa Barbara just before Saturday
noon for his second leg of the tour of the  United States.

His Holiness was received by the Board of
Directors of the Tibetan Association of Northern
California (TANC) at Berkeley Community Center.

Following the performance of a welcome song in
praise of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the
young children of the community, TANC President
Dechen Tsering presented the one year report of
the association. She informed His Holiness of a
new Quilt Project to honor the contribution of
those many Tibetans who died for the cause of
Tibet. A quilt was  displayed to His Holiness.

In his remarks His Holiness talked about the
commonality of the spiritual and cultural
heritage of the Tibetans, the Mongols and the
Himalayan people. He referred to the Tibetan
Buddhist culture as a way of life saying that the
Tibetan Muslims, who are not Buddhists, also
shared this way of life. He talked of two levels
of Buddhism, one at  the popular ritualistic
level and the other that of the study of the
deeper Buddhist philosophy.  He asked the people
to study the Nalanda tradition from which Tibetan Buddhism originated.

His Holiness said that the Tibetan language was
the best language to study this tradition of
Buddhism and thus asked these communities to pay
attention to the Tibetan language.

Referring to the Mongol people, His Holiness said
that they had suffered a lot in the 20th century
but that they had achieved freedom and are now
seeing the revival of their religion in their
country. As for the communities in Nepal, His
Holiness said that there was a renewed interest
in Tibetan Buddhism. He said the Sherpas, the
Tamangs and others are beginning to think about
their ancestral heritage that came from Tibet. He
said one important aspect of identity is the traditional faith.

His Holiness also emphasized the importance of
modern education and how that had been a drawback
in Tibet of the past.  He asked the Tibetan
people to uphold the good Tibetan character.  He
said the Tibetans have the additional
responsibility to think about Tibet.  He said
that since the Tibetans had the truth there was
no need to lie as we do not have any state
secrets.  However, the other side had to resort
to likes and every violent suppression, which he
said was a sign of weakness and not of
strength.  His Holiness said there was thus no need to be discouraged.

His Holiness said Tibetans should hope for the
best but prepare for the worst.  He said China
was changing.  Just as the Tibetans are passing
through a desperate situation, the Chinese
Communists are also passing through a desperate
situation. He then referred to the demonstrations
in Tibet last year and said that now another
generation  is taking over the responsibility of
the Tibet movement.  This, he said, showed that
the Tibetan spirit has not died.

Following His Holiness' speech, members of the
Chaksampa troupe sang some excerpts from the
Tibetan opera in praise of His Holiness. His
Holiness then departed for his hotel.

Prior to meeting with members of the Tibetan,
Mongolian and Himalayan Buddhist Communities, His
Holiness attended a luncheon reception, which was
hosted by the American Himalayan Foundation
(AHF), a non-profit organization dedicated to
helping the people and ecology of the Himalaya.

Actress and member of the AHF Board of Director
Sharon Stone welcomed  the gathering and spoke
about AHF's projects in Tibet.  She said in 1995
at the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
AHF began developmental projects in Tibet and
since then have build 33 schools, 24 bridges and
helped orphans and elders.  She said currently
AHF had  three urgent projects; building a school
hostel, construction of a bridge that will
benefit 3000 villagers, and establishing a
drinking  water system that will benefit 2000
Tibetans.  She then introduced a video that
detailed these and other AHF projects to help the Tibetan people.

AHF Chairman Richard C. Blum spoke next and gave
a background to his personal involvement with the
Tibetan people.  He said 30 years ago at the
invitation of his wife Dianne Feinstein (then
mayor of San Francisco) and him, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama had visited San Francisco (during his
first ever visit to the United States).  Since
then he said AHF had been assisting the Tibetan
people, including those in Nepal. Blum then
invited His Holiness to make some remarks.

His Holiness began by expressing his deep
appreciation for the very constructive work that
AHF was undertaking throughout the Himalayan
region.  He said the people along the Himalayan
region although they may be Indian or Nepalese
citizens share the same Tibetan cultural and
spiritual heritage. He said that today even
though the Tibetans are  homeless yet the many
Tibetan monastic institutions in India are
serving the monks and nuns of the entire
Himalayan region.  He said those Himalayan people
who trace their ethnic origin to Tibet are today
paying interest in finding their original root as
well as in their spiritual heritage.

His Holiness said in the future if the situation
in Tibet does not change Tibet may be finished
but that the Tibetan spirit will continue as it
was strong. He talked about the increasing
support for the Tibetan people in the Chinese
community. Since March 10 last year, he said
there were over 400 articles in Chinese written
by Chinese all of  which were sympathetic to the
Tibetan cause and critical of the Chinese Government's policy.

His Holiness said that he had been telling the
Himalayan people that it was their
responsibility, too, to help in the survival of
the Tibetan Buddhist culture as it was beneficial
to them.  He urged the AHF to continue its
involvement in projects with these communities.

Referring to projects inside Tibet, His Holiness
said that I always welcome any help in Tibet in
the field of education and health.  He said
although in the bigger towns there were some
facilities in these fields the remote areas of
Tibet was being neglected. He said any help that
can be rendered in these areas would be of immense benefit.

Following the luncheon, His Holiness departed for
the University of California in Berkeley's Greek
Theatre to give a public talk on “Peace Through
Compassion”, jointly organized by UC Berkeley?s
Blum Centre for Developing Economies and the AHF.
His Holiness was welcomed by Chancellor Robert
Birgeneau on his arrival at the venue.
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