The Dalai Llama: Truth to Power Today

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
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Trip End Apr 14, 2011


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Flag of India  , Himachal Pradesh,
Friday, March 11, 2011

At about 9:30, the T.I.P.A. (The Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts) entered and provided the required ceremonial beginning.  They had a marching flare, with flags, poles, drums and bagpipe accompaniment, performing well the rehearsed routine we had seen at there institute the day before.  
Then, in came the Dalai Llama along with his security, staff, invited guests (like Fr. Thomas of the Asian Defense for the Rights of Asian and Tibetan Refugees from New Zealand). (Between the crowds, the security, the fence and his high energy walking, I was unable to snap a photo of him, either on arrival or departure.  However, I did get some distant shots through the poles and trees during his address as he sat on a simple chair under the temple canopy.  
An excerpt from his address (available on the website for the Dalai Llama) which I found really moving: (he addressed the crowd in Tibetan of course but there were reprints available in several languages)
This earth belongs to humanity, and the People's Republic of China (PRC) belongs to its 1.3 billion citizens, who have the right to know the truth about the state of affairs in their country and the world at large.  If the citizens are fully informed, the have the ability to distinguish right from wrong.  Censorship and the restriction of information violate basic human decency.  
This leader, like Ghandi did, knows how to speak truth to power.  I hope that citizens of the Earth appreciate the values he stands for, especially those leaders in power around the world, in Canada and the U.S., and in particular in China, the one important nation who as a neighbour, refuses to recognize either him or his people.  
It was indeed a privilege wrapped in poignancy to be in the presence of so great a living moral leader, and his many immediate brothers and sisters, Tibetan exiles.  
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