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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?"

From California to Tawang for the Dalai Lama

November 11, 2009

By Syed Zarir Hussain
Thaindian
November 9, 2009

Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), Nov 9 (IANS) --
Belize Lane, a 20-year-old student from San
Francisco, California, is overwhelmed after
attending a religious discourse by the Dalai Lama Monday.

"I don’t have words to express and am simply
overwhelmed after listening to sermons by His
Holiness the Dalai Lama," Belize told IANS in a voice choked with emotion.

She had come all the way to Tawang, a revered
Buddhist seat perched at an altitude of about
11,000 feet in India’s northeastern state of
Arunachal Pradesh, to attend the three-day
religious discourse by the Dalai Lama that began Monday.

Like Belize, Marta from Spain, a young college
student, is equally excited and happy.

"I am blessed to be part of this wonderful religious congregation," Marta said.

There were more than 100 pilgrims from across the
world, including some from adjoining Nepal and Bhutan.

"I am taking a sacred memento back home in the
form of a sapling handed over by the Dalai Lama,"
a German couple who took part in the prayer session said.

Sherba Lama may be from Arunachal Pradesh, but
then he undertook a gruelling daylong trek to
reach Tawang from a distant border village to
attend the Dalai Lama’s religious discourse.

"He is our God, he is the living Buddha. A
glimpse of the Dalai Lama is like getting some
spiritual power inside you," Lama said sitting
cross legged on a dusty playground with folded
hands under an open clear sky listening to the sermons.

It was a sea of humanity - thousands of people,
both old and young donning traditional costumes
and monks in their red and maroon robes
presenting a sight best seen than described.

"All of you are responsible to carry forward the
message of universal brotherhood and compassion,
besides spreading and promoting Tibetan Buddhism
for future generations to come," the Dalai Lama said.
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