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His Holiness Dalai Lama deeply concerned over situation of Tibetans affected by earthquake

April 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Orissa Diary

By Bijender Sharma; Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama was deeply
concerned over the situation of Tibetans affected by the earthquake in
Kyigudo region of Tibet and if it were possible His Holiness would wish
to visit the region, Tibetan Prime Minister in Exile , Prof Samdhong
Rinpoche said while talking to reporters Dharamsala today.

Rinpoche recalled that His Holiness had espoused a similar desire and
feeling of concern during the devastating earthquake which struck
China's Sichuan Province in May 2008 which killed around 68,000 people.
But the visit could not materialise due to the reality of prevailing
situation.

He said, "There are media reports that the Tibetans who are undergoing
untold suffering due to natural calamity in Tibet pray and yearn to get
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's blessings. We are greatly moved on hearing
such sentiments as if our hearts are pricked by thorn."

He further said that if the external circumstances became favourable,
there would be no difficulty on the part of His Holiness visiting the
affected areas at the soonest possible.

However, even if the prospect of the visit appeared like a dream, we
could strive and pray that the wishes of the affected Tibetans to meet
His Holiness the Dalai Lama could come true, he added.

Meanwhile Dalai Lama has also issued a press release and said, he was
deeply saddened by the effects of the devastating earthquake in the
Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Tibetan:Kyigudo) of Qinghai
Province which resulted in the tragic loss of many lives, a great number
of injured and severe loss of property. Because of the physical distance
between us, at present I am unable to comfort those directly
affected,but I would like them to know I am praying for them, Dalai lama
said.

"I commend the monastic community, young people and many other
individuals from nearby areas for their good neighbourly support and
assistance to the families of those who have lost everything. May your
exemplary compassion continue to grow. This kind of voluntary work in
the service of others really puts the bodhisattva aspiration into
practice, he added.

I also applaud the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas,
especially Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has not only personally
offered comfort to the affected communities, but has also overseen the
relief work. I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to
report on the tragedy and its aftermath.

In 2008, when a similar earthquake struck Sichuan, Chinese central and
local government leaders and auxiliary authorities took great pains to
provide relief, allow free access to the media, as well as clearing the
way for international relief agencies to provide assistance as required.
I applauded these positive moves then and appeal for such ease of access
on this occasion too.

The Tibetan community in exile would like to offer whatever support and
assistance it can towards the relief work. We hope to be able to do this
through the proper and appropriate channels as soon as possible.

When Sichuan was rocked by an earthquake two years ago, I wished to
visit the affected areas to pray and comfort the people there, but I was
unable to do so. However, when Taiwan was struck by a typhoon last year,
I was able to visit the affected families and pray with them for those
who had perished in that disaster. In providing some solace to the
people concerned, I was happy to be able to do something useful.

This time the location of the earthquake, Kyigudo (Chinese: Yushu), lies
in Qinghai Province,which happens to be where both the late Panchen Lama
and I were born. To fulfill the wishes of many of the people there, I am
eager to go there myself to offer them comfort.

In conclusion, I appeal to governments, international aid organisations
and other agencies to extend whatever assistance they can to enable the
families of those devastated by this tragedy to rebuild their lives. At
the same time, I also call on the survivors of this catastrophe to
recognise what has happened as the workings of karma and to transform
this adversity into something positive, keeping their hopes up and
meeting setbacks with courage as they struggle to restore what they have
lost. Once again, I pray for those who have lost their lives as well as
for the well being of those who have survived.
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