By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, September 2: Thousands of Tibetans and supporters gathered at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala today to participate in the official celebrations of the 57th Tibetan Democracy day.
Several dignitaries attended the event, including Chief Guest for the occasion, Kaul Singh Thakur, honorable minister for health and family welfare of the Himachal Pradesh Government and Special Guest Carl Schyter, Swedish parliamentarian from the Green Party and member of Swedish Tibetan Friendship Group of Parliament and representatives of the three pillars of the Tibetan democracy as well as members of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
The officiating Sikyong of the CTA, Religion and Culture Kalon (Minister) Ven. Karma Gelek Youthok and Deputy speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE) delivered the official statement of the Kashag (Cabinet) and TPiE respectively and paid their deepest respect and gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for pioneering and tirelessly steering a democratic system for the wellbeing of the Tibetan people.
The Kashag and the TPiE further thanked the Indian government and its citizen in particular, and all the governments, parliaments, organizations and individuals across the world for their unwavering support for the just cause of the Tibetan people.
Swedish Parliamentarian Carl Schyter spoke about Tibetan democracy set-up and highlighted the significance of the Middle Way Approach, drawing parallel with his own country’s past history of conflicts and wars.
“We had warrior kings, constant war and war and war. And then, few hundred years ago we introduced democracy. We had to take the power from our kings; we didn’t have as wise a leader as yours. His Holiness the Dalai Lama did the most difficult thing ever for any person with power to give it away as a gift to the people and that is the wisest decision a leader can do, to have everybody participate in the development of the common good,” Swedish parliamentarian Carl Schyter said.
Kaul Singh Thakur, honourable minister for health and family welfare of the Himachal Pradesh, in his address congratulated the CTA on the 57th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day on behalf of his government and wished His Holiness a long and healthy life.
Cultural performances were presented during the event and winners of coveted Sikyong scholarship, Gandhen Phodrang scholarships, and winners of the Tibetan entrepreneurship competition were presented with their awards, certificates and cash prizes.