Dharamshala: On this day in 1989, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s foremost leader, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle to free his homeland from Chinese rule.
In presenting the Nobel prize to the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it hoped to send a message of support and a plea for non-violence to all those struggling for human rights and national liberation across the globe, including China.
His Holiness’ commitment to nonviolent approach in resolving the protracted issue of Tibet and his message of peace congresses in religious as well as secular world has been amplified since.
Marking the 31st anniversary of the conferment of Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan Administration today organized a celebration at its headquarters all the while minding the Covid-19 precautions.
Heads of the three pillars of Tibetan democracy including the Kashag, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, heads of the Autonomous bodies. Members of the Standing Committee of the parliament, Secretaries and Additional Secretaries of the CTA departments attended the celebration.
In keeping with the statewide Covid guideline, the total strength at gathering was limited to less than 50.
Honourable Sitsab [Eng: Officiating President] and Kalon for Department of Religion and Culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, Shri Ajit Kumar Nehria, President of Into-Tibet Friendship Association, Speaker Pema Jungney, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile addressed the occasion.
“I am deeply honoured to be speaking on this auspicious occasion celebrating the 31 years since the conferment of Nobel peace prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” said Shri Ajit Kumar Nehria, President of Indo-Tibet Friendship Association, addressing the official ceremony at the Sikyong hall, Gangchen Kyishong.
He noted that this occasion should not only be celebrated by people of Tibet and India but by the whole world for His Holiness is the greatest apostle of peace the world has ever seen.
The ITFA president also spoke about His Holiness’ contribution to India and thanked him for spreading India’s message of peace and non violence throughout the world.
“We are also profoundly grateful to His Holiness for making Dharamshala his second home after coming into exile. We are a blessed generation to share the same physical space as His Holiness,” he added.
Shri Nehria mentioned that this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Himalayan festival organized every year by the ITFA.
ITFA’s Himalayan festival is an annual initiative that was started in 1995 solely to commemorate the international recognition of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s peace initiatives with the prestigious Nobel Prize for peace on 10 December 1989. This year, he added that the celebrations had to be curtailed due to the unforeseen challenges of Covid-19.
“However, ITFA has remained a steadfast supporter of freedom for Tibet and we will continue to work towards it in the future as well,” the president said.
Speaker Pema Jungney presenting the statement of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile said: “All people having the intelligence to discern the immensity of His contributions have exalted him for His efforts and it also eventually led to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Him. And it was for the sake of being able to contribute further to the wellbeing of all sentient beings that His Holiness very graciously and gladly accepted the award which led to Him being accorded recognition as a leader of world peace.”
“True to this aim, His Holiness has continued to carry out secret deeds of body, speech and mind that are unimaginable as much in their ambit as in their help to all sentient beings. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wishes to extend its immense gratitude countless times to His Holiness for the continuing efforts in such noble endeavours.”
He congratulated this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner the World Food Programme, an organ of the United Nations Organization.
Honourable Sitsab and Chorig Kalon in Kashag’s statement acknowledged the increasing global support for Tibet as a result of His Holiness’ tireless and decades long initiatives.
“For over six decades, His Holiness’ commitment to peace and emphasis on inculcating compassion, tolerance and kindness, and efforts to promote religious harmony and ethics based on universal values continue to pave the way for a just society. His Holiness has often referred the ancient Indian knowledge as a ‘Science of Mind’ encompassing the workings of mind and emotions and thus, has remained steadfast in his commitment to revive it. As one the world’s most beloved leader, His Holiness’ tireless initiatives to usher in a more peaceful world has, in turn, garnered support for the Tibet cause globally.”
Drawing emphasis on the worsening human rights situations inside Tibet, Ven. Karma Gelek Yuthok said, “Today is also the Human Rights Day. In the case of Tibet, the repressive policies of the Chinese government continue to trample upon the Tibetan people’s fundamental rights enshrined in its constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy. Since 2009, 154 Tibetans have self-immolated and they have given up their lives to call for the fundamental freedom in Tibet.”
The Sitsab also welcomed the significant developments for the Tibetan cause in the last 3 months as inferred from the Sikyong’s historic visit to the White House and the US state department.
“The visit to the State Department and the White House is historic and we thank the US government for its continued support to our just cause.”
The Nobel peace prize day celebration also featured virtual presentation of cultural performances by TIPA artistes and felicitation of six staff of CTA who have served more than 25 years towards community healthcare under the Department of Health, CTA.
As part of CTA’s yearlong celebration of gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Department of Religion and Culture and the Department of Information and International Relations both released combination of books on His Holiness’ speeches at the Tibetan Religious Conferences, on Tibetan unity and the Middle Way Approach. Watch the full ceremony here.