Tibetan Parliament Honours Legislative Members of Himachal Pradesh

DHARAMSALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama joined Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal and members of the state legislative assembly (Vidhan Sabha) at a breakfast reception organised in their honour by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile at the main temple here this morning.

The leader of the opposition Congress Party, Mrs Vidhya Stokes and Vidhan Sabha Speaker Mr Tulsi Ram were also present at the reception. Members of the Tibetan Parliament's standing committee and the Kashag also joined the reception.

Addressing the gathering, Tibetan Parliament's Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari: “ We would like to extend our gratitude, love and respect to the government and people of Himachal Pradesh for their support towards the Tibetan people in the last more than 50 years.”

Describing Dharamsala as an abode of gods, Congress Leader Vidya Stokes said: “We are fortunate and blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's presence in the state, and we thank him for sustaining Dharamsala as a very beautiful place.”

Expressing his happiness over receiving the invitation to the breakfast reception, Chief Minister Prof Prem Dhumal said His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the greatest living Buddhist monk, Mahatma Buddha of this era, and an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence.”

Prof Dhumal said India and Tibet cherish a long historical and religious ties. “I pray for the long and healthy life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. May the issue of Tibet be resolved soon and the relationship between Indians and Tibetan peoples continue to flourish,” he said.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama extended his greetings to the Indian delegation.

His Holiness said “India and Tibet share a relationship of teacher and student”, adding, “he as a student has special connection with the host Himachal Pradesh state as two of his teachers, Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen and Rigzin Tenpa belong to Himachal.”

His Holiness said Himachal Pradesh has proved very auspicious in helping him to contribute to the promotion of Buddhist values and serve humanity, and to highlight the plight of the Tibetan people inside Tibet for the last more than 50 years in exile.

His Holiness said “ We have known each other very well and get a feeling of meeting old friends whenever occasions arise for such meetings.”

His Holiness said "he has witnessed different chief ministers during the last 50 years, which he said is the strength of Indian democracy and the people's mandate in choosing a competent democratic leadership".

Recounting his visit to a Buddhist temple in the Indian state of Bihar, His Holiness said during the visit, the state chief minister expressed his hope that the state would enjoy progress due to the blessings of Lord Buddha. "But I told him the state could have achieved progress a long time before if it needs only Buddha's blessing. I said the real development would only come through practical action by the concerned chief minister with the blessings of Buddha,” His Holiness said.

The members of state Vidhan Sabha are in Dharamsala to take part in the winter session of the assembly.

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