By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, September 9: Tibetan Spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is currently on an 18-day Europe tour, yesterday inaugurated the 7th Tibet Support Group Conference (TSGC) in Brussels, Belgium.
The three-day conference being held at Saint-Louis University, Brussels, has in attendance European Parliamentarian and President of the TSG Thomas Mann, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel and over 250 delegates from 50 countries.
A staunch Tibet supporter in the European Parliament, Thomas Mann in his opening speech welcomed his fellow guests and said “this 7th TSGC has provided an opportunity to send a message to China that the European Parliament and the European community stand by their Tibetan friends.”
The democratically elected political head of the Tibetan people, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay conveyed his gratitude and thanked the conference attendees on behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Expressing his determination to find a peaceful solution and make the Middle Way Approach a success, Sikyong Sangay said, “We will succeed. We will fulfil the aspirations of Tibetans in Tibet.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in his address urged every one to shoulder responsibility and make an effort to create a more compassionate and violence free world.
“If we look back at the last century there was a huge amount of killing and violence because people thought that the use of force was the way to solve problems. In the interdependent world in which we find ourselves, this is completely out of date,” His Holiness said.
Highlighting the importance of a proper ecosystem on the Tibetan plateau, the Tibetan spiritual leader said it can adversely effect Tibetans, Chinese and the world at large.
Emphasising the importance of contacts between the Tibetan and Chinese people, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “While leaders and governments come and go, the people as a whole remain, so growing contacts and sympathy among the Chinese people are significant.”
The Dalai Lama’s other programs in Brussels include Mind & Life Conference over Sep 9-11 at the Bozar Centre, a public talk and an audience for Tibetans on Sep 11 afternoon in the Brussels Expo. He will also hold an Interfaith Dialogue on Sep 12 morning at the University of Louvain.
The Tibetan spiritual leader’s itinerary also includes a visit to Paris over Sep 13-14 where he will hold an interfaith dialogue on ‘Respect & Tolerance’ and give a public talk on ‘The Need to Preserve Tibetan Language Civilization’ at INALCO, apart from meeting with the Tibetan public.
Over Sep 15-19, the Dalai Lama will visit the French City of Strasbourg, the European Parliament, address students under a program organised by the Mayor of Strasbourg, take part in the 16th Body & Mind Conference, and give religious Teachings.
The Dalai Lama’s final schedule of the EU tour takes him to the Polish city of Wroclaw where he will remain over Sep 21-22, though his programs are yet to be announced.
The Tibetan Spiritual leader will return back to Dharamshala, India on Sep 23.