His Holiness receives standing ovation, blesses blind child singer
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama(L) is greeted at the Signet Library in Edinburgh by to MSPs Rosie Kane(L) and David McLetchie. (AFP/WPA POOL/David Cheskin)|
Edinburgh, 3 June: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s two-day visit to the Scottish capital here ended with a delightful public talk at the Usher Hall for which he received a standing ovation. After the talk His Holiness and the capacity filled audience of 2300 people were treated with a beautiful and inspiring song sung by 12-year-old Amy Moar who is coping with a life of blindness, a kidney transplant and growth problems.
As Amy finished the song, His Holiness took the audience by surprise, with some even wiping off tears, when he walked up the stairs on the stage to pat and give a warm hug to the little girl who attends the Royal Blind School in Craigmillar. The song titled “Way of a Miracle” accompanied by harpist Phamie Gow was written by her music teacher Janet Anderson. The spontaneity with which His Holiness went up to Amy and put on a white traditional Tibetan scarf around her neck whilst blessing and exchanging a few words with the talented blind singer received several rounds of applause from the audience.
Earlier after being introduced by Rev. Prof. Frank Whaling, Co-Chair of the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, His Holiness speaking on “A Contribution to a Vision of a New Civilisation” said that almost every aspect of our life now more than ever before was interconnected and that the responsibility of promoting a civilized society rests with each individual.
“The ultimate responsibility for change lies on yourself. It must not be left to the government or the United Nations,” the Tibetan Nobel Peace Prize laureate said to another applause from the audience. He also touched on issues relating to local and global population, equality, the environment and demilitarisation and answered a series of questions from the students.
To a question on why China invaded Tibet, His Holiness said that it was delicate and explained how he has over the years been involved in confidence building measures with the Chinese side and that how they
continue to be suspicious. He therefore suggested that the question be posed to the Chinese Embassy
instead. This simple answer received another round of applause from the audience.
In the morning His Holiness and entourage travelled by road to the old Scottish capital Dunfermline, about an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. The Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader was received by the Fife Council Provost (Mayor), John Simpson, at the Dunfermline Abbey and Palace. He was also welcomed by school children and the general public who had lined up the streets despite the unexpected mild rain. His Holiness’ arrival at the Ancient Abbey was marked by the playing of the traditional Tibetan spiritual music by two India-based Tashi Lhunpo Monastery monks and a Scottish Piper. Civic leaders along with The Lord Lieutenant, The Moderator and Principal Clerk of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Cardinal Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, theScottish Episcopal Church Primus and representatives from the other Faith Communities were also present to greet His Holiness. Later after a lively question and answer session with some 400 students, His Holiness tied a white scarf on the ‘World Peace Pole’ before making his way by motorcade to participate and observe the World Peace Flag Ceremony. His Holiness’ motorcade was lead by Edinburgh and Fife police motor bikes and car escort
and four police officers mounted on a horse each especially ordered from Glasgow for the occasion. The colourful flag raising ceremony with school children calling for peace in each individual country, concluded with the raising of the flags of the globe, Scotland and Tibet. A short silence for world peace was observed before His Holiness was invite to address the gathering of several hundred school children, teachers, parents and the general public.
His Holiness expressed his happiness at being invited to the function involving hundreds of children. He said that the 20th century of his generation has been a century of bloodshed and hoped that the 21st century of the younger generation will be a century of peace which he elaborated will not come from words or peace poles but rather from serious and warm-hearted individual and collective efforts. All in all His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 27 May – 3 June visit to UK has been a great success. There were positive media coverage and more importantly people from all walks of life and faith communities flocked to see and hear His Holiness in their hundreds and thousands. The Tibetan Nobel Laureate was also duly received by top spiritual and civic leadership both at the local and national levels, such as by the Archbishop of Canterbusy, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Jack Straw, and His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. Tomorrow His Holiness leaves Edinburgh for Rome where the Tibetan leader is to be received by the Italian All Party Group for Tibet and attend a two-day inter-religious function.
Report Courtesy – OoT, London