Seoul: Representative Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo of the Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan and East Asia visited South Korea for a ten-day schedule (Nov 1 to 10). The purpose of the visit was to thank the South Korean public and the Sangha members for their continued support for the Tibet issue after prolonged travel restrictions due to COVID-19, and to further strengthen the friendship bond and to empower the Tibetan community in the region.
On the first leg of the trip, Representative Arya met Chairman Ven. Ju Gyeong, Secretary General Ven. Seol Do and other officials of the Central Council of the Jogye Order of the Korean Buddhism at their headquarters in Seoul. He thanked Jogye Order for their support and statement condemning China’s violation of human rights and religious freedom in Tibet last June when the CCP tried to use some Korean parliamentarians to parrot its propaganda to the media.
A high-level delegation of Jogye Order comprising Top official Ven. Ja Seung, Ven. Jung Woo Hoiju of Gu Ryong Sa Temple, Ven. Do Sim, Ven. Seong-Hwa, and Ven. Hyun-Woo from the headquarters met with the Representative, who appraised them of Tibet’s deteriorating human and religious rights situation. The delegation expressed solidarity with the Tibetans and affirmed faith and respect for H.H. the Dalai Lama. They wished and prayed for the long healthy life of H.H. the Dalai Lama and His early visit to South Korea in the near future.
Representative Dr. Arya visited several places where Tibetan monks have established teaching centers. They are: Labsum Shedrupling in Seoul headed by Ven. Geshe Namkha; Tibet Buddhist Culture Centre in Seoul and Jamtseling in Incheon, Khangsong Sa in Busan, Korea Institute of Tibetan Culture and Research in Ulsan, and Phendeling in Degu. He met with the abbots, staff, and devotees and updated them on the Tibet issue.
Ven. Jihyeon, abbot of the Kannumsa Monastery, Ven. Shim San of Hognbeopsa Monastery and Ven Bhikshuni Neunghaen of Jaejae Temple met with Representative Arya and discussed the various aspects of Tibetan religious and social life and how best they could work together to promote peace and compassion around the land.
Ji Seong-Ho, a member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, received Representative Arya and Ven. Geshe Namkha at his parliament office. They discussed the Tibet issue, the North Korea issue, and the threat that the world is facing because of the rise of totalitarian regimes.
Dr. Arya was received by a certain group comprising intellectuals and former diplomats and bureaucrats supporting Mongolia and Manchu causes, they expressed their solidarity with the Tibetans and talked about historical incidents shedding light on how the 7th-century Srongtsan Gampo’s army marched into the Korean territory and helped them push back the belligerent Chinese invaders, and how during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty, the Tibetan Lama persuaded the Mongolian lords not to torture the residents. They presented a poem to mark the auspicious meeting with the Tibetan representatives.
Representative Dr. Arya visited Dongguk University and met with Chairman Don Gwan and President Yun Jae Woong Dae and thanked them for educating some ten Tibetan students and requested their continued help in providing education opportunities for the young Tibetans.
Geshe Namkha of Labsum Shedrupling, Geshe Sangpo, Geshe Phuntsok, Tenzin Chodon, and Lobsang la helped coordinate the meeting, travel, and interpretation during the ten-day tour.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Japan, and East Asia