ZURICH: Kalon Pema Chhinjor of the Department of Religion and Culture yesterday extended Kashag’s greetings to the Tibetan community members gathered at Rikon Tibetan Monastery in Switzerland to pray and celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 77th birthday.
He expressed his happiness and pride to see the active preservation of the Tibetan culture in Switzerland. The Swiss Government gave refuge to 1,000 Tibetans in the early 1960s. He said at the early state of the re-settlement, there was great concern that the Tibetans in Switzerland would lose their culture.
Members of the Toepa Welfare Association in Switzerland performed Gyashey, an auspicious ceremonial dance.
In the afternoon, Kalon Pema Chhinjor met with the board members of the Tibetan Institute in Rikon and the monastic community. There are nine monks representing four Tibetan Buddhist schools.
The board members informed the Kalon about the work of the Tibetan Institute in Rikon amongst the Tibetan community in Switzerland and in India. The Rikon monastery was built in the 1960s by the Rikon based Kuhn family for the welfare of the Tibetan community. The monastery and monks play a vital part of the cultural and religious life of Tibetans in Switzerland.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor said Tibetan Institute in Rikon’s Science meet Dharma is the most exciting project building bridges between Tibetan Buddhism and Western science. This project was initiated and supported by His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the Patron of the Tibetan Institute in Rikon and the Nobel Prize Laureates, Richard Ernst, a board member.
He emphasised the need to strengthen the Rikon monastery’s out-reach program amongst the Tibetan community. He said both the monastery and the community should organise regular classes on Tibetan Buddhism especially for the younger generations of Tibetans.
Kalon Pema Chhinjor who arrived on 4 July at Zurich airport. He was welcomed by the Abbot of Tibetan monastery in Rikon, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, President and Vice-President of the Tibetan Community and President of the Tibetan Women’s Association.
The Kalons of the Central Tibetan Administration are visiting Tibetan communities across the world to join in the celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 77th birthday.
On 5 June Kalon Pema Chhinjor met with senior officials of the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern. During the meeting, he briefed the officials the purpose of his visit to Switzerland. He thanked the people and government of Switzerland for their continued support during the last five decades to the Tibetan issue and to the Tibetan people living in Switzerland.
He informed the officials in detail the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. He said that the Chinese government claims that they have created a “socialist paradise” in Tibet. However, over 40 young Tibetans born and grown under Chinese Communist rule have self-immolated because of the brutal repression faced by the Tibetans under its rule in Tibet.
He also said that the Central Tibetan Administration was fully committed to the Middle Way policy.
Tomorrow Kalon Pema Chhinjor will address the public celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 77th birthday organised by the Tibetan community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
On 10 July, he will travel to Milan, Vienna, and Hamburg to meet with the members of the Tibetan community located in these regions.
(Report filed by Office of Tibet, Geneva)