VILNIUS: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is currently on 3-day to visit in Riga, Latvia, met eight Members of Lithuanian Parliamentary Tibet Group and Tibet supporters at his hotel on Thursday.
“We appreciate the support of friends like you. The people in Tibet’s spirit remains strong and when you show concern it not only gives them courage, it also sends a clear message to Chinese hardliners that the Tibetan issue has to be dealt with in a realistic way. Therefore, I would like to thank you on behalf of the six million Tibetans,” His Holiness said in his address at the meeting.
His Holiness emphasised that his main concern is regarding the preservation of unique Tibetan cultural heritage. “This is rooted in the ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind, on the basis of which we can achieve peace of mind and tackle our destructive emotions. This is something that is very much relevant today”.
As reported by the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (dalailama.com), His Holiness further said, “Political boundaries are the creation of bureaucrats, which may or may not reflect cultural boundaries. Historically the Chinese empire was characterized by political power, the Mongolian empire by its military prowess and the Tibetan empire by its spiritual strength. There was a brief period when Mongolia dominated both Tibet and China by military means. On the other hand, Tibet’s preoccupation with spiritual affairs meant that its influence extended to what is now, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Iran in the west, to much of China in the east, to Mongolia in the north and the Himalayan Region and the border with Burma in the south. Therefore, a map reflecting the extent of Tibetan Buddhist culture would be much larger than a political map of Tibet.”
He told the supporters holding Tibetan national flags that in 1954-55 former Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong himself told His Holiness to hoist the Tibetan national flag alongside the Chinese flag.
“When I was in Beijing in 1954-55 I met Chairman Mao several times. We developed a close relationship—he was very kind to me, almost like a father to his son. On one occasion he asked if we Tibetans had a national flag. Somewhat hesitantly I answered, “Yes”. He approved and told me we should fly it alongside the Red Flag.
“So if anyone criticizes you for displaying this flag, you can tell them the Dalai Lama was given permission to do so by Chairman Mao himself”.
Provisional Group for Solidarity with Tibetans in the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) was formally established on 17 November 2017 as a result of the untiring efforts of Seimas members Mr Andrius Navickas, Mr Arūnas Gelūnas, Mrs Monika Navickienė and Mr Vytautas Kernagis, all of whom met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Riga, Latvia, in September 2017, and of Tibet supporters in Lithuania.
The Provisional Group for Solidarity with Tibetans is chaired by Mr Andrius Navickas MP with Vice Chair Mr Arūnas Gelūnas MP.
His Holiness later met with Prof Vytautas Landsbergis, who became President of Lithuania when it achieved independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. “How happy I was when you invited me here in 1991. I was so moved and impressed by the people’s joy, enthusiasm and determination. It was an honour to be here among you,” His Holiness said.