Tibetan Parliamentary delegation concludes official visit to the Russian Federation
Moscow: As per the program of 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile to visit and meet the Parliament members, Tibet support groups, think tanks and officials all over the world as well as to garner more support for the cause of Tibet, a Tibetan Parliamentary delegation comprising of Parliamentarians Mr. Dawa Tsering, Ms. Tsering Youdon, Mr. Dhondup Tashi, and Mr. Tsaneytsang Dhondup Tashi successfully completed their official visit to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kalmykia of the Russian Federation from 2 to 12 March 2020.
The Parliamentarians, on reaching Delhi from their respective places, unanimously appointed Parliamentarian Dawa Tsering as the leader of the delegation on 1 March and embarked on their official visit to Russia.
Upon arrival at the Moscow Airport, they were greeted by Ngawang, a staff of Moscow based Office of Tibet; Mr. Dawa Tsering, president of Moscow Tibetan Association and Yonten Gyatso, President of the Jonang Buddhist Association; Dr. Jigme, Head of the traditional Tibetan hospital. In the evening, the Moscow Tibetan association hosted a welcome dinner to the Parliamentarians and briefed them of the Tibetans living in Moscow. Parliamentarian Dawa Tsering briefed the gathering on the objective of the Middle Way Approach. At the same time, he advised Tibetans never to forget the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the aspirations of the Tibetans living inside Tibet. He lauded the Tibetans living in Russia for their unity and for their trust towards the Central Tibetan Administration.
While, Parliamentarian Dhondup Tashi Tsaneytsang explained the in-depth meaning of the Middle Way Approach, which he mentioned as something that can be practiced by all the Tibetans in their daily lives. Likewise, he further emphasized the strength of unity amongst the Tibetan people advising all to follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s guidance and have conviction in the CTA.
On 3 March, the Parliamentarians paid a visit to the Office of Tibet which is registered as ‘Tibet Culture and Information Centre’. They met with representatives of the Tibet Support groups and Dharma centers. The delegates introduced the situation of Tibet and aspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to them. Later, they also spoke on middle way policy, self-immolation inside Tibet, and four commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama while answering questions of the media personnel of Save Tibet Foundation.
In the evening a dinner was hosted by a group of Russian State DUMA (Russian Lower house parliament) Deputies, where the delegation members met Parliamentarians; Hon. Aduchiev Bator (Kalmykia), Hon. Marina (Kalmykia), Hon. Mergen (Tuva), Hon. Aldar Damdinov (Buryatia), Hon. Bokuchkov Rodin Borisovich (Altai), Historian Mr Eedorov Brontoi Yangovich, and Tibet supporters.
During the dinner, all the Members of Parliament from Russia delivered their remarks. They welcomed the Tibetan delegates to Russia and spoke about the special historical connection shared by Tibet and Russia in terms of religion and politics. Likewise, they spoke about Tibetan Buddhism, which is one of the official religions practiced majorly in Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva of Russia. Followed by that, Hon. Bokuchkov Rodion Borisovich spoke about Altai, situated at the border of Uyghur, Mongol, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Altai has a huge number of Tibetan Buddhism practitioners and followers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
From 4 to 7 March, the Delegation visited St Petersburg where they held meeting with the local Tibet supporters and briefed the public about the current situation. It was followed by a Q&A Session. The following day they paid a visit to the historic Buddhist temple built by contributions of the 13th Dalai Lama and local Buddhist community of the Russian Empire where they held a productive meeting with the Abbot.
In the afternoon they held a media briefing which was held at the “RosBalt” news agency. The briefing was attended by 7 different media outlets. On 6 March, they paid a visit to “Institute of Oriental Manuscripts Russian Academy of Sciences” to view the large Tibetan Buddhist canon collection and discussed on various issues. The meeting was followed by intensive interaction with students at the University of St Petersburg particularly with the Department of Asian Studies head of Faculty.
From 7 to 10 March, the TPIE delegation visited one of the Buddhist Regions in the Russian Federation, Kalmyk Republic. The host was “Kalmyk Friends of Tibet”. In the afternoon of the arrival, they met with the Rector of Kalmyk state university where the Parliamentarians briefed on the Tibetan struggle, four commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, etc. The following day delegation visited Gaden Sheduk Choekhorling Monastery. In the afternoon they met Hon. Mantsaev Nikolai Garchevich, Minister of education and science from Kalmyk Republic and interacted on the issue of Tibet. They also visited Kalmyk National Museum and met Ms. Kinzeeva Kishta Ivanovna, president of Kalmyk Women’s association. The next day they paid a visit to “Lonely tree”, a sacred place of worship for the Kalmyk people and made Incense offering to the Buddha and deities. Later over a lunch hosted by some Tibet supporters, they again interacted on various issues of Tibet.
On 10 March, the 61st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, the TPiE delegates held a press conference and briefed the media of March 10th occasion and gave detailed information about the current situation. Followed by a visit to Kalmic national gymnasium school where they received a warm welcome. In the afternoon near the Kalmyk Government building, a prayer service was held to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the National Tibetan Uprising which was well attended by Buddhist monks and supporters. They were also invited to Kalmic state university for a lunch on the same day. Tibetan Parliamentarians were invited to a dinner hosted by the Tibetans living in the Kalmyk Republic. Parliamentarian Dawa Tsering spoke on the importance of unity and advised them to have conviction towards CTA and to remember the common cause of Tibet.
During this visitation program, the delegation members visited 3 cities of Russia and met with 8 Parliament members, 1 Minister, and 63 Tibet supporters. They held 3 press conferences, 3 meetings with the Tibet supporters, and 2 meetings with the Tibetan communities. They have also distributed publications related to Tibet and successfully completed their visitation program to Russia.