His Holiness the Dalai Lama condoles the demise of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the Seeds of Compassion Interfaith Dialogue held in Seattle, Washington, USA on April 15, 2008. Photo by Tomas/Seeds of Compassion

December 26, 2021: Immediately on being informed that his “respected elder spiritual brother and good friend” Archbishop Desmond Tutu had passed away, His Holiness the Dalai Lama composed a letter to the Archbishop’s daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu.

“Please accept my heartfelt condolences,” he wrote, “and convey the same to your mother and other members of your family. I pray for him.

“As you know, over the years, your father and I enjoyed an enduring friendship. I remember the many occasions we spent time together, including the week here at Dharamsala in 2015 when we were able to share our thoughts on how to increase peace and joy in the world. The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was entirely dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common good. He was a true humanitarian and a committed advocate of human rights. His work for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an inspiration for others around the world.

“With his passing away, we have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life. He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others.”

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration today condoled the demise of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an anti-apartheid giant who passed away on Sunday, aged 90.

In his condolence letter to Mrs. Leah Tutu, late Demond Tutu’s wife, Sikyong wrote, “It is with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetans around the world, I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to your family and the people of South Africa”.

“This irreparable loss is felt deeply by the Tibetan people who were moved and inspired by the humbling friendship between Archbishop Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We fondly remember his visits to Dharamshala, especially his presence at the pre-celebration of His Holiness’ 80th birthday in 2015”.

Sikyong further added, “The Tibetan people were among the millions who were the fortunate recipient of the Archbishop’s boundless empathy and support. His victory in bringing justice and freedom to his people is an inspiration to many, including the Tibetan people. We remain eternally grateful and inspired by his legacy”.

“Archbishop Tutu embodied all that humanity could be. Though we bid farewell to him, his legacy will live on. The light and hope he represents will continue to shine and guide us all”.

“As per the Buddhist tradition, we will be observing a prayer service in honour of his memory and pray that we continue to be guided by his spirit of altruism. Once again, I extend our deepest condolences and prayers” Sikyong concluded the letter.

Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile offered his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a very dear friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon on his passing away. In a letter written to the Archbishop’s daughter Rev. Mpho Tutu, the Speaker wrote, “December 26, 2021, marks a very sad day, especially for the Tibetans on receiving the news of the passing away of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was an icon of global peace, a dear friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet.”

“I had the privilege of meeting him during an event at Dharamsala in 2015. He dearly admired His Holiness the Dalai Lama and shared a spiritual bond with him. He also supported our just cause of Tibet. He advocated human rights, global peace and humanitarian at large. His departure from this world is very saddening news for all of us. I extend my heartiest condolence to his family and followers. I hope we will be able to follow his guidance and words of compassion and humanity. We celebrate him and his legacy. He will live on in our hearts,” he continued.

He concluded by writing, “Once again on behalf of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and the entire Tibetans across the world, I send my sincere condolence and prayers during this difficult time.”

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was a Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. In 1984, he was conferred the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent tactics in dismantling the infamous apartheid system and was awarded John Templeton in 2013.

Archbishop Tutu visited his dear friend, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who also received the two abovementioned awards in 2012 at the later’s residence in Dharamshala, and the subsequent visitation was made in 2015 to mark His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. The two have later co-authored the Book of Joy.  



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