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Tibetans and Japanese Offer Prayers for the Earthquake victims

Tibet House, Tokyo, May 26, 2008

Tokyo, Japan -- Around 150 Tibetans and Japanese gathered at Gokokuji Temple on the day to mourn and to offer prayers for the victims of earthquake in Tibetan and Chinese area of Shichuan. It was reported that death toll in the regions has reached more than 60,560 and said that it could climb above 80,000, with nearly 30,000 people missing.

The prayer gathering was organized by Tibet House Japan, in line with CTA (Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala) guidelines to initiate relief efforts with local people for the victims in the affected area.

Mr Lhakpa Tshoko, Representative of Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan and East Asia at the start, offered prostration and lit the butter lamp before the statue of Buddha statue in the Temple.

In his opening speech before the packed prayer hall, he expressed sympathy and solidarity with the earthquake victims and said that at this hour of tragedy due to natural calamity, there is no boundary, we should dedicate our sincere prayers for all the victims and pray for the alleviation of people’s suffering in the region. He thanked the Gokokuji Temple and monks for their cooperation and support. He also appreciated the enthusiastic participation of the people in this prayer meeting at such short notice.

Gokokuji Temple is a well known Japanese Buddhist temple in the heart of Tokyo city. The Temple has supported two Tibetan Spiritual Festivals organized by Tibet House earlier; His Holiness the Dalai Lama also visited the Temple last November. The Temple has been supporting ‘Candle Light Vigil and Prayers’ by Tibetan and Japanese every evening for the people killed in Tibet since March and for early restoration of peace in the region.

Tibetans and Japanese recited Prajnaparamita sutra, Dolma, Dentsig monlam, Guru soldeb and Mani. Japanese also participated in the prayers with the Tibetan prayers written in Japanese katakana script. Gokokuji monks offered Japanese Hangyashingyo, prajnaparamita sutra. Sacred feeling of oneness and solidarity filled the Gokokuji Temple’s main prayer hall. The prayers session lasted for two hours from 2 pm to 5 pm. Tibetan butter tea was served to the gathering by the Temple.

Participants expressed relief and satisfaction for being able to pray for the Tibetan and Chinese people killed and suffering in the region. Some Japanese came clad in Tibetan traditional dress, chupa. Some media people from Major news papers and a Chinese correspondent also visited the event.

Opening of Earthquake Relief Fund Account was also announced, people donated generously. It was explained that the Account will open till the end of July after which it will be send to the affected region under the aegis of Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala.


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