(TibetanReview.net, Oct16, 2018) – Governor Acharya Devvrat of Himachal Pradesh state said on Oct 15 that India had a culture of “Atithi Devo Bhava” (The manu guest is equivalent to God, a code of conduct for Hindu society) and had never considered the people of Tibet living in the state in exile any different from its own, reported webindia123.com. The occasion was the marking in the state capital Shimla of a “Thank You Himachal” public event ahead of the 60th year of the Tibetan people’s arrival in India in exile being observed across the country and abroad at different times this year by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) located in the state’s hill town of Dharmshala.
The Governor had noted that India and Tibet had integral cultural and business relationships since centuries.
“The people of the Tibetan community in exile are living with love, affection, unity and goodwill in this country and we had never considered them different from ours. It is their greatness that they always express gratitude to the people of India,” he was quoted as saying.
“The third generation of the Tibetan community is contributing to the progress of the country by adopting India’s culture and language. This country belongs to you as much as to the people of India,” Devvrat has further said.
The state’s State Irrigation Minister Mohinder Singh Thakur and former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh were also present on the occasion, apart from the CTA President Lobsang Sangay. Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile as well as Finance Minister Karma Yeshi and Health Minister Choekyong Wangchuk, of the CTA were also present.
Thakur has also said the state considered the Tibetan community to be Himachali only and urged it to join the natural farming campaign being run by the Governor.
Sangay has reiterated that “no other country or people have done more for Tibetans than India. We are always treated like family in Himachal and we will never forget your kindness and generosity.” He has said Tibetans look at India as their second home but long to return to Tibet at the earliest.
A seven-minute video message from Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, offering greetings and gratitude to the state government and its people, was played on the occasion. In it, the octogenarian Tibetan leader has called himself a proud citizen of Himachal Pradesh and a student of the rich Indian tradition.