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34th Dalai Lama Nobel anniversary marked with inauguration of awards gallery, Taipei exhibit for Tibetan self-immolation martyrs

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec11’23) – The 34th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama was marked in conjunction with the world Human Rights Day on Dec 10 with the inauguration of the award gallery at the Dalai Lama Library and Archives located on the Lingkhor circuit of the Tsuglakhang at Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala. The Dalai Lama award gallery will open to the general public from time to time, said the Tibet.net Dec 11.

The anniversary was marked by Tibetan communities across the free world, with the official event being held on the Tsuglakhang courtyard, Mcleod Ganj.

The gallery was inaugurated jointly by the state lawmaker (Member of Legislative Assembly, HP) from Dharamshala, Mr Sudhir Sharma, and former Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche in the presence of the top leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration.

In addition to preserving religious teachings, sermons, and written materials including gifts and awards received by His Holiness, the centre also serves as a learning centre for researchers and scholars to seek information and research materials, the report said.

“This centre is a precious gift of wisdom and knowledge from His Holiness to the present and future generations”, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche has said.

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A major highlight of  anniversary was the opening by the Dalai Lama Foundation in Taipei of an exhibit of 166 works of calligraphy by Ho Tsung-hsun, with prayers and chants from five Buddhist teachers honouring the “heroes and martyrs” of the Tibetan resistance movement.

The exhibit – titled “Those Who Give Fearlessly” – honours 166 Tibetans inside and outside the People’s Republic of China who have set themselves on fire as an act of resistance to Chinese Communist Party rule, and in pursuit of freedom, Ho has told Radio Free Asia in a recent interview.

He has said he made the exhibit not to advocate self-immolation, but to highlight the despair and helplessness of those who use it as a form of protest.

“Self-immolation is a last-ditch choice – there must be so much going on in people’s minds that we can’t understand,” he has said. “166 self-immolations in the space of just 10 years is a shocking number.”

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Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama himself arrived at Sikkim’s capital Gangtok on Dec 11 for a three-day visit which includes a teaching on Dec 12. This is his first visit to the state, which borders Tibet, after a gap of 13 years; he last visited Sikkim in 2010.

The Dalai Lama was received by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang and welcomed by top leaders of the state, with the Governor, He Lakshman Prasad Acharya, paying a courtesy call on him.

“Around 40,000 devotees will attend the (teaching) event at Paljor Stadium to get blessings from the Dalai Lama,” PTI news agency Dec 11 quoted Gangtok SP Tenzing Loden Lepcha as saying.

“He will also virtually lay the foundation stones of Karmapa Park project at Rumtek and Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo statue at Simmik Khamdong constituency in Gangtok district,” the report quoted officials as saying.

On Dec 14, the Dalai Lama will give religious teaching at Sed-Gyued Monastery in Salugara, Darjeeling District, West Bengal.

The Dalai Lama’s Bodh Gaya series of programmes will then begin on Dec 20 with the inauguration of the 3-day International Sangha Forum 2023 on Bridging Traditions, Embracing Modernity: A Dialogue on the Buddha’s Teaching in Today’s World organized jointly by the Office of HH the Dalai Lama, The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) and our SE Asia Coordinator’s office in the morning.

The visit will conclude with a Long Life-Prayer offering to him on Jan 1, 2024.

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