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Russian Buddhists seek Putin's support for Dalai Lama visit

May 14, 2009

Mosnews (Russia)
May 13, 2009

Members of a regional Buddhist council in
Russia’s North Caucuses, have asked Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin to help them secure a
visit by the Dalai-Lama to the republic, Russian website Gazeta.ru reports.

"A visit by the spiritual leader of all the
Buddhists in the world would be the best present
to Kalmyk people, who are celebrating the
quarter-centenary of the entrance of the Republic
of Kalmykia to Russia." A spokesman of religious
Council of the Republic of Kalmykia said.

"Kalmyk Buddhists have been living peacefully in
Russia with their spiritual brothers - orthodox
Christians and Muslims for four hundred years." He added.

During religious Council’s meeting the Supreme
leader of Kalmyk Buddhists Telo Tulku Rinpoche,
Kalmyk archbishop Zosima and the leader of Kalmyk
Muslims Sultan-Ahmet Koralaev presented gifts to
three poor Kalmyk families of different faiths
living in different parts of the republic.

The heads of the Buddhist communities of two
regions of Russia -- shadzhin-lama of Kalmykia
Telo Tulku Rimpoche, and kamby-lama of Tuva,
Jampel Lodoy approached the Russian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs with a common plea for the
Dalai-Lama to be given an entrance visa to Russian territory.

"More than a million practicing Buddhists in
Russia are awaiting instruction by their
spiritual teacher, and millions of Russians of
various other religions would like to get an
opportunity to meet the Nobel Peace Prize winner,
whose policy of peace and compassion is an
example for the whole world," states the appeal.

The heads of the Buddhist communities also noted
that over "the last 17 years, during which
Russian Buddhists have been asking a full visit
by His Holiness the Dalai-Lama, dozens of temples
have been built, which need the ritual of consecration."

"A one-day visit to Kalmykia in December 2004 was
so short that even people from outlying districts
of Kalmykia could not meet the Dalai-Lama, much
less pilgrims from Buryatia and Tuva. More than
that, classical Buddhist education specifies
prolonged instruction under the guidance of a
spiritual teacher, which is impossible to realize
in the framework of a single day visit, which can
barely serve only to get acquainted,“ the appeal notes.
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