By Tendar Tsering
His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering namaaz along with Tibetan Muslims at the local Tibetan Muslim community mosque in Srinagar, J&K on June 14, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor)
DHARAMSHALA, July 18: Addressing a group of Tibetan Muslims in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Dalai Lama last week welcomed Tibetan Muslim youths to join the Central Tibetan Administration.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking in Tibetan, emphasised on the need for sharing responsibility during difficult times and noted that “all Tibetans are one irrespective of different religions.”
The Dalai Lama is currently on a weeklong trip to Srinagar, the capital of north Indian state, on the invitation of the state Tourism Minister Ngawang Rinzin Jora.
Thousands of people, including Tibetan Muslims and Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, greeted the Dalai Lama at a grand public reception held in honor of the Tibetan spiritual leader at the Tibetan Public School in the capital.
The Dalai Lama said he was glad to see the Tibetan Muslims after a long time and appreciated their hard work and dedication in nurturing the local Tibetan school.
Currently there are no Tibetan Muslims serving in the CTA.
“Earlier, there were two Tibetan Muslims serving in the CTA but later, one got retired and the other resigned. So, as of now, we don’t have any Tibetan Muslim serving in the CTA,” a staff at the Public Service Commission of the CTA told Phayul.
Speaking to the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah at the reception ceremony, the Dalai Lama told the state leader that he has personally known three generations of the Abdullah family.
Calling the Chief Minister as young, energetic, and visionary leader, the Dalai Lama urged him to carry on the work of active service to people in the future.
Omar Abdullah, in his keynote speech, said that his state has seen some violence in the past, but “now with the blessing of the Tibetan spiritual leader, peace and tranquility will prevail in the state.”
Following the reception ceremony, the Dalai Lama visited the mosque of the Tibetan Muslim community.
Most of the Tibetan Muslims in the locality are children of Tibetan women and Kashmiri traders who had settled in Tibet seven centuries ago, and later fled Tibet following China’s invasion in 1959.
Apart from Tibetan Muslims, the northern Indian state is home to hundreds of Tibetan Buddhists who are settled in several camps in the state as refugees since 1959.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to visit the Tibetan refugee camps in Ladakh and give religious teachings.
The last time that the Tibetan spiritual leader visited Srinagar was in 1988.