Weekly News of Tibet in Exile August, 2019

His Holiness the Dalai Lama begins 3-day teaching in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India

Manali, 13th August: His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, the ability to smile is something only humans can do. During an interview with Hakka Television from Taiwan on Thursday morning, his holiness was asked how he is able to keep smiling and whether his holiness was the most optimistic of all the Dalai Lamas. His Holiness replied that smiling is a natural and special ability that only human beings have and recollected the advice of the 18th century Indian Buddhist Master. Shantideva , who he mentioned have said. If you are a true practitioner of Bodhichitta you should smile at everyone you meet.

On Tuesday last week, his holiness the Dalai Lama began teaching Eight Verses for training the mind, the 37th practices of Bodhisattvas and Nagarjuna's commentary on generating the awakening mind of Boddidhitta for thousand attendees in the Indian town of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. His Holiness also conferred Avalokiteshvara empowerment and gave the transmission of the mantras of the Buddha, Manjushri and Arya Tara. On the last day of the teaching, after completing his reading of the text, his holiness encouraged his listeners to read it again themselves whenever they have time. He assured them it would be beneficial to do so.

He said, “Today, we have completed this series of teachings. With regard to the Avalokiteshvara empowerment, first, visualize Avalokiteshvara in front of you as he was depicted in the thangka. Then, imagining he dissolves into you, recite the six-syllable mantra for ten rounds of your mala, not that this will be much help if your mind remains unruly. Try not to think of yourself, but of all sentient beings.” Whether the Dharma is effective or not depends on whether you manage to transform your mind. Having heard the teachings from me, it`s up to you to effect that transformation. Your neighbours and friends should be able to see a difference in you if you practice well. Pray that Avalokiteshvara will care for you in life after life until we meet again.

First European Sakya Monlam for Universal Peace and Happiness in Antwerp, Belgium and France last week.

France/Belgium 12th August: Sakya Trichen Rinpoche inaugurates first European Sakya Monlam in Antwerp, Belgium, and France. The President of the European Sakya Monlam Foundation made a Mandala offering to his holiness the Sakya Trichen. His Eminence addressed briefly but succinctly to over three thousand devotees gathered for the grand Prayers. There was a large presence of the Sangha, western followers and Tibetans from all over Europe. His Eminence said. “All sentient being should be blessed with happiness and seeds of happiness and be devoid of suffering. The world is undergoing much suffering due to natural disasters and also some because of our own making. He also called upon the gathering to realize with gratitude the life-long contribution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and pray for his long life. The Prayers commenced with The Noble Sutra for Remembering the Three Jewels, Long-Life initiation, which was followed by other prayers and recitation of The King of Prayers (Sangchoe).

Central Tibetan Administration, President Dr. Lobsang Sangay`s Gujarat Visit

Vadodara, Gujrat India, 8th August: Addressing the faculty members, students and staff of the institute of leadership and governance maharaja Sayajirao University of Vadodara in the Indian state of Gujarat last week, the president of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay said that Tibetan freedom struggle practiced by the Central Tibetan Administration is made in India movement that follows Gandhi`s Principles of Ahimsa. Assuring the success of Tibetan Struggle, President Sangay quoted by saying, if we succeed, Gandhi succeed, Ahimsa succeed. Maharaja Sayajirao University invited Dr. Sangay as the chief guest at the diploma award ceremony of its institute of leadership and governance. President Dr. Sangay highlighted the decade long relationship between India and Tibet and briefed the audience on the current situation in Tibet. President also interacted with Tibetan students studying in the university. Vadodara Regional Tibetan Youth Congress organized the meeting. Dr. Sangay appreciated the organizations 23 years of work for the cause of Tibet and reminded them of the middle way approach as the only pragmatic strategy and policy to resolve the Tibet issue. He further elaborated on the benefits and advantages of adopting the middle way approach. The President advised the young students to face the Challenges as it comes. While highlighting the hard work that the elder generations have put, and the President remarked that Tibetans have high potentials. He then informed the students about the Scholarships provided under the department of education and about ten months course at Sara College for higher Tibetan studies for those who wished to be Civil servant.

Central Tibetan Administration celebrates India`s 73rd Independence day

Dharamsala, 15th August: The Central Tibetan Administration held a Ceremony to commemorate India`s 73rd independence day on 15th August. President Dr.Lobsang Sangay hoisted the Indian National flag and congratulated India on the occasion of its 73rd Indian Independence day while expressing gratitude to the government and the people of India.

Representative Tashi Phuntsok meets with Wilfried Vandaele, new Speaker of Flemish Parliament.

Brussel, Belgium,14th August: Representative Mr. Tashi Phuntsok, Office of Tibet Brussels, Belgium and his colleagues Thutop Namgyal, Secretary and Genkhang Rigzin, Advocacy Officer, met with Wilfried Vandaele, President of Flemish Parliament. During the meeting, Representative Tashi Phuntsol recalled the close and long association of Tibetan people with Flemish Parliament. He also brought to Vandaele`s attention the great admiration that His Holiness the Dalai Lama`s holds for the European Parliament He outlined numerous occasions including the meeting and the events attended by his holiness the Dalai Lama in European Parliament. Mr. Vandaele reciprocated his sincerity about him and his party Nieuw Vlaamse Alliantie( N-VA)`s support for Tibet. Mr. Tashi Phuntsok said that over the years Chinese have launched cultural, linguistic, commercial and political pressure around the world. However, in recent times, western governments have begun pushback. He thanked the Belgian government and western countries who supported the issue of Tibet in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Central Tibetan Administration inaugurates Second Five-Fifty Youth Forum: Shaping Tibet`s Future.

Dharamsala 17th -19th August: A group of young Tibetans from different countries has gathered in Dharamsala to discuss the Central Tibetan Administrations Five-Fifty Vision. After the successful first Five-Fifty Youth Forum hosted by the Department of information and International Relations ( DIIR) in 2018 which saw over 185 participants from 21 countries, the DIIR under the guidance of Kashag is hosting the second Five- Fifty Youth Forum for three days from 17 -19 August.

Addressing the inaugural session, President Dr. Lobsang Sangay explained about the inception of the Five-Fifty Vision of CTA which he said was formed after much discussion and debate within the members of Kashag following His Holiness the Dalai Lama`s devolvement of his political role in 2011. Kashag then came up with Five-Fifty Vision which was originally inspired from His Holiness the Dalai Lama`s advice to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, which aims towards the restoration of freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness to Tibet” said, President. He explained that through Five- Fifty Vision, CTA`s goal is to realize this vision through a policy of dialogue, nonviolence supported by middle way approach when dealing with China. Resolving the issues of Tibet`s political future within the next five years, sustaining and strengthening the resilience of the Tibetan people both inside and outside Tibet including preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture and identity for the next 50 years.

The Forum witnessed plenary session on Tibet and the People Republic of China, establishing constructive engagement and negotiations inclusion of and responsiveness to Tibetans inside Tibet and Diaspora. Young voices in the Tibetan Freedom movement; Communications, Advocacy and International Relations. Central Tibetan Administration`s Leadership towards the Five -Fifty Vision creating Visionary Leadership and Resource Mobilization. The Five-Fifty Vision calls for resolving the issue of Tibet and Tibet`s Political future in the next five years in accordance with the middle way approach. The participants are selected group of hundred young Tibetans of the age group 20 to 35 from 13 different countries.

by Nyima Arya

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