Dalai Lama cautions against fire breakouts damaging Tibetan heritage

photoDharamshalaExpressing solidarity and offering his condolences to those who were affected by the recent fires in Serta Larung Gar monastery, the Lithang monastery and Gyalthang’s old town in Tibet, the Dalai Lama appealed to Tibetans living  back home in Tibet to protect heritage and be more careful about handling inflammable substances. 

He was reacting over the massive fire, which broke out On January 9, in Serta Larung Gar monastery in Serta County destroying around 80 nuns’ quarters.

Serta Larung monastery campus in Tibet on fire: Photo Courtesy Phayul.com
Serta Larung monastery campus in Tibet on fire: Photo Courtesy Phayul.com

Within less than 24 hours, a second fire broke out in Gaylthang’s old town destroying over 300 homes.

A fire in Lithang monastery on the night of November 16, last year had reduced to ashes the 433 year main prayer hall at the old Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling monastery in the monastery complex.

Dalai Lama appealed Tibetans to be careful while using inflammable objects including gas stoves, cylinders, electricity and butter lamp offerings. The Tibetan leader has also recommended precautionary steps including standard fire extinguishers and safety tips.

Dalai Lama also conveyed his prayers for those affected by the fire incidents while calling on fellow Tibetans to maintain unity among themselves and never to indulge in internal conflicts.

Serthar Monastery Ablaze: Image: lobsangjinpa
Serta Larung Monastery Ablaze:                                          Image Courtesy: lobsangjinpa

The 78 year old Nobel Laureate also asked local monasteries to offer prayers.

Dalai Lama was talking to Tibetans here, two days ago, before leaving  for Guwahati, Assam, to attend the first ever Tibet festival in the northeastern city, which is often referred to as ‘the gateway to the east’. The Tibetan festival opens up on 2 February.

His Holinessthe Dalai Lama will also be visiting Shillong for the first time, where a sizable number of Tibetan refugees live. On 3 February he would address the 6th Convocation of the Martin Luther Christian University.

He is also scheduled to give a religious discourse to the Buddhist Community on Feb. 4, and is also to participate in an inter-faith event in the afternoon at the State Central Library in Shillong.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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