This year marks the Thank you India yearlong campaign as a part of the Central Tibetan Administration’s gratitude to India for letting Tibetans in exile for past 60 years.
On 10 August this week, His Holiness the Dalai Lama along with Chief Minister of Karnataka, Haradanahalli Devegowda Kumaraswamy graced the Thank you Karnataka organized by the five major Tibetan settlements in South India to celebrate the 60 years of friendship, support and hospitality of the People and the State Government of Karnataka towards the Tibetan people.
Addressing the Thank You Karnataka event, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “I feel great honour that we Tibetan refugees, a small community, found an opportunity to thank the Karnataka state and we thank India”.
His Holiness continued: “When we first arrived as refugees, we were demoralized, but 60 years later we have rebuilt our confidence and have come to see how we may contribute to the wider benefit. This is due to the support of the Government of India, which has its origins in the kindness of Pandit Nehru.”
His Holiness also recalled his extraordinary relationship with late Shri Siddavanahalli Nijalingappa, the first Chief Minister of United Karnataka who approved the largest acres of land for Tibetan re-settlement in 1959.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said: “It is indeed a privilege and honour to take parts in the presence of the great spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.” He acknowledged the contribution Tibetans had made to Karnataka and wished Tibetans living in Karnataka a happy and well life.
CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay said: “Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has extended facilities to Tibetans equal to those available to the people of Karnataka. This state has the largest Tibetan population in India, the largest number of Tibetan monks and nuns and the largest number of Tibetan schools.”
Dr. Lobsang Sangay also thanked a special guest Prof. S.N Kiran Shankar, son of the late Chief Minister, S Nijallingappa of Karnataka.
The event was attended by a host of Indian leaders from the state and local government including the Chief Secretary of Karnataka, T M Vijaya Bhaskara, IAS and special guest, son of United Karnataka’s first CM, Shri S. Nijalingappa.
Tibetan dignitaries include CTA President Dr Lobsang Sangay, Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Gaden Tripa, Sherpa Choeje, Jangtse Choeje, members of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Pema Delek, Samten Choedon, Tsering Youdon, Migyur Dorjee, Ven Jamphel Tenzin, Abbot and Khenpos of Monastery in South India, five Settlement Officers, friends of Tibet, Bharat Tibbat Sayog Manch.
Following are the netizens’ reactions to the Thank you Karnataka event held at Taj hotel in Bengaluru, Karnataka: