Dharamsala, HP, India, 27 October 2009 (By Phurbu Thonley, Phayul.com) - Three leading Nobel Peace Laureates on Tuesday took part in a public ceremony to honour the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet for the role they played for peace and non-violence in the world.
Dalai Lama gestures during 'A Public Ceremony in Honour of His Holiness the Dalai lama and the People of Tibet' organized by the US-based PeaceJam Foundation in Dharamsala, India, Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009. Three Nobel Peace Laureates - Jody Williams (L), Mairead Corrigan Maguire (C) and Shirin Ebadi (not seen in the picture) took part in the ceremony. (Phayul Photo)
As part of the ceremony, the three Nobel Peace Laureates - Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Corrigan Maguire - presented a joint statement signed by eight Nobel Peace Laureates to the Dalai Lama assuring him of their support for his 'non-violent efforts' to resolve the issue of Tibet.
Jody Williams read the statement in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama before handing it over to him during the ceremony here this morning.
'For 50 years, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people have waged a peaceful struggle to preserve their ancient culture, religion, language, and identity,' the statement said.
'As the world has benefitted from His Holiness the Dalai Lama's wisdom and moral authority, it is fitting that we honor him, and that we stand behind him now to keep the issue of Tibet alive,' the Nobel Laureates said in the statement.
In the statement, the peace laureates have urged the Chinese government to 'take immediate and constructive' steps to resolve the status of Tibet and end the oppressive policies, which they said continued to marginalize and impoverish Tibetans in their own land.
The statement, while expressing 'grave concern about the survival of Tibetan identity', commended the efforts of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people for successfully preserving cultural traditions in exile and at the same time contributing their knowledge to outside world.
'We commend the Tibetan people for their courage and resilience in the face of untold suffering and we urge peace-loving people around the world to lend their support so that authentic Tibetan culture may once again flourish in its homeland and survive as a valued part of our global heritage,' the letter said.
The public honouring ceremony is part of a two-day 2009 PeaceJam Youth Conference being held at the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV) School in apprenticeship with the three visiting Nobel Peace Laureates. Senior leaders of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, including the Prime Minister Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, and TCV students took part in the event.
The Nobel Peace Laureates later again met with the Dalai Lama at his official residence here to participate in a programme themed - 'One Voice Dialogue Honouring the Dalai Lama and the People of Tibet'.
On Monday, 200 Tibetan students selected from different branch schools of TCV took part in a 'Day of Leadership and Service for the Tibetan Youth' conference with the three leading Nobel Peace Laureates.
The PeaceJam Conference is an international educational program built around Nobel Peace Laureates who work with youth to pass on the spirit, skills and wisdom they embody.