Tibetan Buddhism flourished with India support: Sangay

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New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Tibet’s Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Monday said that Tibetan Buddhism had flourished due to India’s support in the last 60 years ever since the Dalai Lama arrived in India in 1959.

“An ancient civilization that was almost destroyed (by the Chinese) has been preserved due to (support of) India. In the 60 years of our exile, Tibetan Buddhism flourished in Bhutan, Nepal, and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” he said at a function held here as part of the ‘Thank You India’ campaign.

The ‘Thank You India’ event was organised by the Central Tibetan Administration in McLeodganj near Dharamsal in Himachal Pradesh on March 31 to mark 60 years of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama’s arrival in India in 1959.

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Sangay, who is heads the McLeodganj-based CTA, said the major agenda is to ensure the return of the Dalai Lama to Lhasa’s Potala Palace.

“Our main goal is to return to Tibet. The aspiration of six million Tibetans in Tibet is to see His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to return to Tibet,” he said.

Asked how optimistic he was and whether parleys were on with the Chinese, he said: “It will happen. Of course, we have to talk to the Chinese government — their cooperation is very important.”

“However, There is no formal dialogue (with China).”

While senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, attended the inaugural event in McLeodganj, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit attended the event in New Delhi, which was marked by exhibitions and cultural programmes.

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The event included a “Thank You India” song performed and produced by artistes of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, a panel discussion on “India and Tibet: Ancient Ties, Current Bonds”. A day-long film festival was scheduled for the second day of the event.

“This is the Festival of Tibet. We are showcasing Tibetan architecture, artefacts, medicine, and Buddhism. So that the people in India can see how much they have helped us preserve and promote our civilization, culture and identity,” Sangay said.

–IANS

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