Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 14 August 2016 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama was invited to a lunch in his honour by the Ladakh Hill Development Council (LAHDC), the local government of Ladakh and Zanskar.
He was received at the Forest Park picnic spot by Dr. Sonam Dawa, Chief Executive Councillor. They crossed the River Indus on a steel bridge decorated with prayer flags. His Holiness saluted the traditional Ladakhi drummers and horn players who were there to welcome him and they reciprocated.
Addressing the gathering as brothers and sisters, His Holiness suggested that instead of giving a talk he would prefer to answer questions. Asked about euthanasia he said that like the question of abortion it is hard to generalise and all the factors involved need to be taken into account in each case. In answer to a question about water pollution, His Holiness spoke briefly about the importance of protecting the environment and natural resources as well as of taking steps to conserve water. He mentioned that he had promised his friend Sunderlal Bahuguna, founder of the Chipko movement, that he would speak on environmental issues in the Himalayan regions of India from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh whenever he could.
After everyone had enjoyed lunch together, the District Commissioner thanked the cooks for their good work and the Ladakh Hill Council for organising the event. His Holiness then returned to his residence.