Parliamentarian Tsewang Rigzin addressing the 13th anniversary of the conferment of the US Congressional Gold Medal on His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Minnesota: The 13th anniversary celebration of the conferment of the US Congressional Gold Medal on His Holiness the Dalai Lama was held on 17 October 2020, organised by the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota (TAFM), USA.
Parliamentarian Tsewang Rigzin of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile from North America partook in the celebration as the Chief Guest with special guests Abong Rinpoche and representatives from dharma centers, and others guests including representatives of NGOs, former executive committee members of the TAFM . The event began with the prayer service for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama led by Ven. Yetop of Gyuto Monastery and offering of Mendel TenSum to the portrait of His Holiness by the chief guest and President Ngawang Chemi of the TAFM. Followed by offering of traditional Tibetan scarves by the guests, serving of Tibetan butter tea with sweet rice, and address of the President of the TAFM.
The Chief Guest Parliamentarian Tsewang Rigzin began his address by offering his deep reverence and prostration to His Holiness the great 14th Dalai Lama and greeting all the guests present at the event. As the auspicious occasion of the 13th anniversary of the conferment of US Congressional Gold Medal on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is a day to be cherished and feel proud by all Tibetans, the Parliamentarian advised Tibetans to be grateful to His Holiness for his lifelong striving for Tibet and Tibetans. Especially for the new generation Tibetans, he emphasised on the importance of making them appreciative of His Holiness’s kindness and have gratitude.
Speaking on the significance of enlightening people of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s four commitments, idea of compassion and non violence on international platform, the Parliamentarian encouraged Tibetans to implement His Holiness’s preachings into practice by protecting Tibetan’s unique identity of distinct language and culture and by nurturing and moulding younger generation into Tibetans with virtue and morality. As the year of 2020 has been marked as ‘the Gratitude Year’ to His Holiness by the Central Tibetan Administration, he suggested Tibetan association of organising projects related to it and at the same time thanked the US government and its citizens for conferring the Congressional Gold Medal on His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
With the arrest of a Chinese spy in New York recently, he further advised Tibetans to be vigilant of any act of disturbing unity within Tibetans by the Chinese government. Likewise, he also expressed his gratitude to the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US government for the designation of US Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. He then offered his heartfelt condolences on the demise of former political prisoner Tanak Jigme Sangpo and to all the Tibetan martyrs. He also showed his solidarity to all the political prisoners who are currently suffering in Chinese prisons. Finally, the Parliamentarian concluded his address by praying for a long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and reunion of Tibetans living in and outside of Tibet.
The TAFM then presented a token of gratitude to Real estate agent Ms. Kelsang Kyoh for her immense contribution in purchasing a new community hall for the TAFM. Thereafter, Ms Kelsang shared her experiences in this process and urged for people’s support for the same.
Thereafter, Vice President Samten Choedon of TAFM and former President Tsewang Ngodup of TAFM gave a brief bio of Senator Carolyn Laine of Minnesota who is also a longtime Tibet supporter and has rendered her continued support to the Tibetans. For which the senator was honoured with an award by the chief guest, the award was received by her representative.
The celebration concluded with the presentation of traditional dances and Thank-You Note by the Vice President of TAFM.