Dharamsala : Speaker of 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Ven. Khenpo Sonam Tenphel offered his condolence to the surviving family members of Late. Sh. Ataj Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India and the recipient of Bharat Ratna (2015), the highest civilian award of the Republic of India, upon his demise on Aug 16 at All India Institute of Medical (AIIMS), on behalf of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and Tibetans, in and outside Tibet, today.
In the letter, the Tibetan Speaker wrote, ‘Late Hon. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, recipient of the Bharat Ratna award, was loved and respected for being a genuine advocate of democracy in India. His leadership has unique quality of foresight and parity for the progress of India and its entire people. For no doubt, India has lost a great leader, leaving behind a big void in the Indian politics.’
Expressing his gratitude to the former Prime Minister of India, he further wrote, ‘Tibetan people are eternally grateful for his strong and consistent support for the cause of Tibet since from1950s. He had raised voice for Tibetan cause in and outside the perimeter of Indian parliament. The level of reverence that he has offered to His Holiness the Dalai Lama will always remain in our heart.’
Late. Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an Indian parliamentarian for over four decades, was former Prime Minister of India for three terms (1996, 1998 and 1999-2004). He was also the recipient of Bharat Ratna award in 2015, the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. He passed away at the age of 93 years old at All India Institute of Medical (AIIMS), Delhi at 5:05 pm on Aug 16.