Auckland: Sikyong Penpa Tsering began his official engagements in New Zealand’s city of Auckland with an interview with Radio New Zealand, the country’s public broadcaster, followed by an interview with the daily newspaper New Zealand Herald earlier this morning on 15 June 2023.
On the same day, Sikyong Penpa Tsering met and addressed the Tibetan community in and around Auckland at the Palpung Buddhist Centre.
In his address, he highlighted the 16th Kashag’s vision and its commitment to service in accordance with the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, strengthening the framework of the CTA, sustenance of the Tibetan settlements in exile and solving the housing issues faced in exile. In addition, Sikyong spoke about the dwindling number of Tibetans arriving from Tibet, and stressed the importance of paying attention to and learning Tibetan history, elevating the status of Tibetan cause at the global stage, and reintroduction of the new Tibet bill in the US Congress. This was followed by a Q & A session.
Later in the evening, Sikyong Penpa Tsering gave a public talk on Tibet at a Gala Dinner event at the Ellerslie War Memorial Hall in Auckland. He emphasised the different repressive policies imposed by the Chinese government inside Tibet, the political circumstance concerning the Tibetan cause, and the Chinese government’s oppression across the world. Sikyong expressed his gratitude to the Tibet supporters who were presented with mementoes by the Tibetan association and a cultural performance.
Ian Ravell, Former Deputy Speaker and first Chairman of the Parliamentary Lobby group for Tibet, also addressed the gathering. At the event, members of Friends of Tibet, Tibetan Children Relief Society and Chinese Tibetan Friendship Association gave an introduction to their respective associations.
Sikyong was accompanied by Tibet Information Office Representative Karma Singey, and the event was attended by members of the Tibetan community in New Zealand, members of Tibet Support groups, Manchurian Culture Associations and students of Dharma centres. The event was organised by the Auckland Tibetan Association.
This concludes Sikyong’s official engagements in Auckland, and he will leave for New Zealand’s capital Wellington tomorrow morning.