British Actress urge more support for Tibet
LONDON, 18 June 2002:
By : Tsering Tashi
An exhibition of photos relating to the past, present and the future of Tibet and the Tibetan people was opened here yesterday to a packed hall by the British Actress Joanna Lumley who sported a Tibetan flag batch pinned on the left side of the pullover she was wearing for the evening. The free photo exhibition in memory of Amaryllis Fleming, a friend of Tibet, has been organised by the London-based official Tibetan charity, the Tibet House Trust. The 60 photos, mostly coloured and some old black and white, will be on display at the Grypt Gallery near the popular Trafalgar Square until 28 June.
“The non-violent path chosen by the Tibetan people to regain their freedom was the right path to take,” said Ms. Lumley who was apparently overwhelmed by the photo exhibits ranging from the peaceful Tibetan rally for freedom to the brutal Chinese assault on unarmed demonstators in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The presence of a group of monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in south India who are presently touring the United Kingdom lend a distinctive non-violent approach typical of the Tibetans when they recited some prayers prior to the remarks made by the chief guest.
Ms. Lumley, who in her earliest filming career has acted in the James Bond film On Her majesty’s Secret Service, told a receptive audience of more than 150 people that they must try to make other people also aware and supportive of the Tibet issue.
“The Tibet issue is the most deserving cause that has been un-noticed,” said the celebrity actress who was later seen mingling freely with the mixed audience of committed Tibet supporters, intellectuals, and new comers on the Tibetan scene. Women members of the Tibetan Community in Britain who were present were easily recognisable by their traditional and colourful Tibetan gown or ‘chupa’.
The star of the Absolutely Fabulous sitcom also lauded the role the Tibet House Trust is playing in providing assistance to the Tibetan refugee community in India and Nepal and said that the trust deserved moral as well as financial support to fulfil its twin objectives of helping the Tibetan diaspora and preserving Tibetan culture.
Ms. Lumley concluded her remarks with an optimistic note for the Tibetan tragedy by quoting a Christian saying that says the “meek will inherit” – an equivalent of the globally understood saying, “the truth will prevail.”
The gathering also was addressed by Mrs. Kesang Y. Takla, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet, who also is the Chairperson of the Tibet House Trust. She said that the idea behind the photo exhibition was to make the people better aware of and supportive of the Tibet issue. She expressed Tibetan sense of appreciation for the support received so far and appealed for continued assistance to the trust and support for the just cause of Tibet.
The refugee life in exile section of the photo exhibition featured the works of the young Tibetan professional photographer Tenzin Dorjee who had come from India to for this event. He told the audience how he was one among the growing number of young Tibetans in exile who were trying to excel in the professional fields of their choosing. He said the present work was to record for posterity the life of Tibetan refugees in various parts of India. Mr. Dorjee, who was born and raised in Dharamsala, and whose works have appeared in the Time magazine, said that his next project would be to photographically record the life stories of Tibetans in exile who have done exceptionally well in their various professional career.
The Tibet House Trust is the official Tibetan charity inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in September 1994. His Holiness also is the patron of the Tibet House Trust which aims to assist Tibetan refugees in rehabilitation, health, education and developmental works, and supports projects that facilitate in preserving Tibetan identity and culture.