His Holiness the Dalai Lama Honoured with first ever 'Shine a Light Award'
LONG BEACH, CA: His Holiness was welcomed in great ovation with over 1000 guests and members of Amnesty International. Ms. Ann Burroughs, a former prisoner of conscience from South Africa, addressed the welcome note.
Mr Larry Cox, the Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA, gave a general idea of the human rights violation in Tibet and the role played by AI. Taking the opportunity the Amnesty had decided to use the occasion of its 50th anniversary to “honor and celebrate those whose lives, words and actions challenge, inspire and move us to never give up, to continue to do what we can, to grow our non-violent actions on behalf of the freedom and dignity that belong to each and every individual human being.”
Mr Cox expressed his admiration of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, as the symbol of peace and a champion of non-violence.
Mr Cox along with three members of a Amnesty student group honoured His Holiness with the award in recognition of his unprecedented contributions to a better world with his wisdom. The trophy wasdesigned by Tibetan artist Tenzin Mochoe, modeled after the title of "Dalai Lama", which means Ocean of Wisdom.
"The ripple represents the scope and reach of His Holiness’ unceasing compassion and the potential of every human being to make a difference in the world,” Mr Cox added.
His Holiness expressed his gratitude to be the receiver of the award. He shared the conversation that the had with the late Queen Mother in England in 1996 on the progress on concepts like human rights and self-determination.
His Holiness said: “Amnesty International is one of the sources of inspiration and hope and their work did have some impact even to those who care less about human rights. The power of force is temporary, but the power of truth is eternal.”
During the question and answer session His Holiness emphasised on the need to "promote friendship between Tibetans and Chinese and outlined his efforts at reaching out to the Chinese people".
He also asked people to "learn the issue of Muslim community and promised to put effort in promoting better relations between Muslims and Buddhists in India in response to a question from a Muslim student".
He further underlined the need for "greater understanding and education in moral ethics and concern for others".
He met some 100 activists and expressed his appreciation for Amnesty’s work.
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