The Central Tibetan Administration and government-in-exile organized the two-day event in Dari Ground just outside Dharmsala. It was called "Thank You Himachal Pradesh: to express the Tibetan people's gratitude for the Himachal people’s hospitality and compassion in supporting the Tibetan leader and his followers for half a century.
The Dalai Lama presented the keynote speech. In expressing his appreciation and that of his people, he said,
"On behalf of 6 million Tibetan people, I thank the government and the people of Himachal Pradesh for providing sincere help and support for the exiled Tibetans. We have been in exile for 50 years, which is not for the fight for freedom of one or two individuals. Rather it is a fight for the freedom of all Tibetan people. We are here to preserve our history, religion and culture, to attain freedom, and ensure the protection of Tibetan environment. We are also here to draw international attention to the issues and concerns of our people still living in Tibet."
The Dalai Lama also talked about the challenges his people continue to confront, and he stressed that the struggle was not in vain as ongoing progress is being made. He then urged everyone to continue on the Middle Way Path of non-violence, a principle, which is a key element in both the Tibetan and Indian cultures.
"Non-violence in action is based on inner compassion and warm-heartedness. Respect for the rights and lives of others relinquish violence. Non-violence cannot come under conditions of suppression and fear."
May we all recognize the importance of the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom and see them as a model for the peaceful creation of a world that works for everyone. And may H.H. the Dalai Lama live a long healthy life that supports his campaign for compassion in all places.