Canberra: The Tibetan Community and the Tibet Information Office jointly organised a public event celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday. The celebration featured a three-course dinner and vibrant Tibetan cultural performances at the Canberra Southern Cross Club.
Guests of honour included members of the ACT Legislative Assembly – Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, Corrections and Mental Health, and Elizabeth Kikkert, Shadow ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
Distinguished guests also included the Representative of the Dalai Lama in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia Lhakpa Tshoko, the Counsellor of the Indian High Commission Sonal Bajaj, President of the Taiwanese Community Chan Feng Lin Wu, President of the Hindu Council of Australia Prakash Mehta, Chinese friends, board members of the Tibet Information Office and representatives from Amnesty International, Red Cross and the Rigpa Centre.
The joyous and auspicious occasion was an opportunity for the Tibetan community to thank the people and government of Australia, and to non-governmental sectors, who have extended friendship and support to the Tibetan people and the Tibetan cause. The ACT Tibetan Community and the Tibet Information Office presented mementoes and certificates of appreciation to the ACT Government and to friends of Tibet.
“I am honoured to represent the ACT Government to be with, and to thank, the Canberra Tibetan community for your contribution to our broader multicultural community,” said Chief Guest Shane Rattenbury, Minister of the ACT Government.
“His Holiness emphasises the importance of preserving Tibetan culture and traditions; our language, religion, music, poetry and numerous other art forms. This evening we will be enjoying performances from members of our Canberra Tibetan community,” said Tsering Samkhar, master of ceremonies. The evening was full of vibrant cultural performances, including Tashi Sholpa opera dance, Arshey dance, Kordro dance of Lhokha, Yak dance and Khampa dance.
The evening ended with a vote of thanks by President of the ACT Tibetan Community Ngodup Gyaltsen to the ACT Government for its friendship to the Tibetan people, to long-time and new supporters of Tibet, and to community members and organisers of the event.
Inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of love and compassion, the Canberra Tibetan community also sponsored a full day of special meals on the Dalai Lama’s birthday and donated pocket money for residents and staff at Jampaling Elder’s Home in Dharamshala and Chauntra Elder’s Home in India.
-Report filed by Tsering Samkhar, Media Liaison and Campaign Officer, ACT Tibetan Community, Australia.-