Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – In a letter this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama congratulated Siddaramaiah on becoming the Chief Minister of Karnataka once again.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during His Holiness’s 78th birthday celebrations at Sera Je Monastery in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, India on July 6, 2013. Photo by Tenzin Choejor
“Last April marked the 64th anniversary of our life in exile,” he wrote. “In order to find a suitable place for resettlement of the many Tibetans fleeing to India at the time, Prime Minister Pandit Nehru appealed to the Chief Ministers of different states to provide land. The most generous response came from then Chief Minister of your state, S. Nijalingappa. I had in fact met him earlier in 1956 when I visited India and have a very clear memory of the meeting.
“Subsequently, as you know, more than 30,000 Tibetans were settled in Karnataka in the 1960s, the largest group of Tibetans in exile. I remain grateful to the state of Karnataka and in August 2018, took part in a special function in Bengaluru to thank the state and its people for their friendship and generous support.
“In addition to setting up five residential settlements in Karnataka that allowed Tibetan communities to be rehabilitated, I am proud that the state is also where many of our major monastic centres of learning were re-established. Through rigorous programmes of study these institutions are keeping alive the traditions of ancient Indian wisdom, including valuable instructions for achieving peace of mind, that we Tibetans received as part of the Nalanda Tradition.
“I would like, therefore,” His Holiness went on, “to express once more our deep gratitude to the government and people of Karnataka for the warm and friendly support they have provided Tibetans during these critical times.”
He concluded, “I take this opportunity to wish you every success in meeting the challenges that may lie ahead in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of Karnataka.”