SRI LANKA: Honorary Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia, Mongolia and CIS countries participated in the 7th world Buddhist summit, the Supreme World Wide Buddhist Conference in Sri Lanka, from 2 to 7 November.
The Summit is being organised by the Sri Lankan government and co-organized by the Nenbusushu Buddhist sect of Japan. 47 countries are represented with participation of Buddhist leaders as well as founders of Buddhist organizations and Buddhist centers around the world.
President of Sri Lanka, His excellency Mr Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime minister of Sri Lanka, Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as the Minister of Buddhist Sasana, Gamani Jayawickrama Perera graced the opening ceremony and gave opening remarks, welcoming all delegates to the country of Sri Lanka—the holder of the Theravada tradition of Buddhism.
From 3 – 4 November, each delegate gave a brief report on how Buddhism was being developed in their countries and challenges they face.
Honorary representative Telo Tulku Rinpoche gave a presentation on how Buddhism came from India to Tibet and then to Mongolia and Russia.
He said, “As Russia and Mongolia have suffered under the rule of Communism where many monasteries were destroyed and thousands of monks were forced to give up their monk-hood, imprisoned, tortured and assassinated in the 20th century, we are very fortunate to have gained our freedom to revive, redevelop and rebuilt after the collapse of the soviet Union. But, in today’s time, we must not forget our Buddhist brothers and sisters in Tibet who to this day continue to suffer under the hands of the Chinese communist government.”
“Many Buddhist monasteries and monks are denied of their rights to spread the Dharma and develop. Many monasteries as well as Larung gar which is one of the fastest growing Monastic institutions in Tibet while in recent times, have been facing a major crack down by the Chinese Government. We must not forget those who continue to suffer under communism whose basic human rights are being denied and I pledge to our Buddhist brothers and sisters to stand with Tibet in solidarity and pray for the Tibetan people so they may gain their freedom in the nearest future.”
The presentation was well received and followed by a Q & A session. The representative from Sri Lanka was keen to know more on how Tibetan Buddhism came to Russia. Due to time restriction,Telo Tulku Rinpoche was not able to give a full detailed explanation, but they met on the sidelines and spoke extensively.
Ven Bhante Wimala, representative from Kenya posed question on “why is China building so many temples and statues in mainland China while restricting Tibet, is seems there is a contradiction?” As Telo Tulku was responding, the chair of the session urged not to touch upon politics, to which Telo Tulku responded by saying that “China’s interest in building temples and statue are not in the interest to spread Buddhism but strictly for financial gain. If their intention was to spread Buddhism, then there would not be or should not be any restrictions in Tibet.”
There were many delegates who came to Telo Tulku Rinpoche and personally thanked him for giving such a presentation and for speaking up for Tibet. As the days went on there has been many delegates who wanted to learn more about the current situation in Tibet and China policies.
The President of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Mr Maithripala Sirisena hosted all the delegates to his official residence for a reception where Honorary Representative Telo Tulku Rinpoche had a chance to present the President of Sri Lanka with a Tibetan Buddhist statue on behalf of the Tibetan People.
–Report filed by Office of Tibet, Moscow–