Dalai Lama marks 50 years exile from Tibet and arrival in Dharmsala with ‘Gratitude Ceremony’

by Steven Sieden, The Examiner, May 2, 2010

Dharmsala, India -- On April 30, H.H. the Dalai Lama along with other Tibetan government-in-exile officials and Buddhist spiritual leaders conducted a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of his arrival in Dharmsala, India after fleeing from Tibet.

The occasion was also designed to express the Tibetan leaders’ gratitude to the people of India for their ongoing hospitality. When the Dalai Lama arrived in Dharmsala in 1959, the Chinese had escalated their invasion of Tibet, and it was deemed unsafe for him to remain in his ancestral homeland.

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.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-46274-Spiritual-Leaders-Examiner~y2010m5d2-Dalai-Lama-marks-50-years-exile-from-Tibet-and-arrival-in-Dharmsala-with-Gratitude-Ceremony