Thekchen Chöling, Dharamsala, HP, India – This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Odisha respectively to express his sadness over the loss of life, the devastation of property, as well as the hardship caused to so many people, in several districts of their states due to Cyclone Amphan.
“I appreciate the prior preparations that were made to respond to this natural disaster, and the efforts that are underway to provide relief and assistance to those affected,” His Holiness wrote to each Chief Minister. “As a mark of solidarity with the people of West Bengal and Odisha, I am making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the relief and rebuilding efforts.
“I would like to convey my condolences to you, to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all those affected by Cyclone Amphan.”
To Mamata Banerjee he remarked, “In addition to our profound respect for India as a sacred land, which has also been home to many Tibetans over the last 61 years, we have a special regard for Bengal. This is because Shantarakshita, the great philosopher and dialectician who established Samyé, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Tibet in the 8th century CE, and Dipankara Atisha, who revived the practice of Buddhism in the 11th century, both hailed from Bengal.”