Make 21st Century Violence Free: Dalai Lama To World Leaders5 June 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Noting that 20 crore lives were lost the world over due to violence in 20th century, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama today called upon the world leaders to make 21st century violence free. Addressing a multi-religious congregation at mountain locked village Gulabgarh in Paddar area of Kishtwar district today after his arrival from Dharamsala, Dalai Lama accompanied by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, president of Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Society (HBCS) and other Buddhist leaders, said it was duty of the world leaders to come forward to bring to an end the violence the world over, which was taking many lives. In his 11 minutes speech in Buddhist language which eventually lasted 22 minutes as it was translated in Hindi by a monk, the Tibetan leader said India is an example of ‘ahimsa’ and ‘shanti’ (non-violence and peace) and the world should follow it. 'I’ve been in India for last 58 years. People of all religions have lived united and peacefully. Though problems did crop up occasionally, the nation withstood them and presented a perfect example of peace and non-violence’’, Dalai Lama said as his address was heard by the gathering drawn from Buddhist dominated Ladakh, Dharamsala, other parts of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kishtwar. Paddar block, bordering Zanskar valley of Kargil district, has a population of about 7000 Buddhists. Pointing out that science and technology was developing very fast in 21st century, the spiritual leader observed that violence in some parts of the world was also a big problem, which is required to be addressed peacefully. 'There is a peaceful solution to every problem’’, he maintained without referring to any issue. Speaking to his followers amid very tight security arrangements in militancy infested Kishtwar district, Dalai Lama admired social fabric in India where the people following different faiths were living together. 'People in India live without any conflict. This is a good symbol’’, he said advocating the path of peace and non-violence. He said he will hold special prayers in Gulabgarh for peace in the world especially Jammu and Kashmir. He was on his first visit to Kishtwar district though he had earlier visited Ladakh. He also had a word of advice for the people of Kishtwar district, infested by the militancy. He called upon them to continue with their rich multi-cultural heritage and maintain religious harmony and tranquility at all costs. Dalai Lama recalled his meetings with late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and Dr Farooq Abdullah, both former Chief Ministers of J&K and grandfather and father of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. He said he enjoyed good relations with both Kashmiri leaders. The Tibetan spiritual leader landed at Udhampur from Dharamsala at about 9 am where he was received by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. From Udhampur, they flew to Gulabgarh where a number of Cabinet Ministers, political, religious and social leaders besides the Buddhists decked up in traditional dresses welcomed the spiritual leader singing and dancing. Entire Gulabgarh village had been spruced up by the local people for past several days to welcome Dalai Lama on his first visit. After receiving warm welcome from the people, the Tibetan leader and the Chief Minister along with others visited the Gompa in Gulabgarh and offered prayers. The two leaders also inter-acted for about 15 minutes. After his address, Dalai Lama and other Buddhist leaders had an inter-active session at a four storeyed Buddhist centre specially constructed by the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural Society for the visit of Tibetan leader. He will have a night halt at Gulabgarh and will again offer prayers tomorrow morning besides meeting the Buddhist leaders and local people. He will fly back to Dharamsala tomorrow afternoon. Authorities had made tight security arrangements for the two-day visit of Dalai Lama to Gulabgarh. Though the area is free from militancy, it’s surroundings still have presence of some Hizbul Mujahideen militants. A large number of CRPF and police personnel had been deployed in entire Paddar area and surrounding mountains for the visit of Tibetan leader. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, welcoming Dalai Lama on his arrival in Paddar, described him as 'the Messenger of Peace'. The Chief Minister said people of Paddar were eagerly waiting for the Dalai Lama's visit to this area. 'I congratulate you for this occasion,' Mr Abdullah said and wished well being and prosperity to them and the people of the State as a whole. He said J&K symbolised communal harmony, brotherhood and secular democratic temperament. The people of the State have lived in an atmosphere of amity since ages respecting each others faiths and cultural diversity,' he said and called for preserving and conserving this rich ethos and heritage. Describing Dalai Lama as 'Shanti Doot (Messenger of Peace)', Mr Abdullah said peace and détente are the subjects of global significance in present day world scenario and every human being is equally important stake holder in global peace and tranquility. Tolerance, co-existence and mutual understanding of each others views are imperative to create a peaceful order in the society and live in an atmosphere of brotherhood and harmony, he asserted.