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Valuable Piece of Advice For All the Tibetans Residing in Taiwan
A Reader-Contributed Article
During his unprecedented trip to Taiwan from March 22nd to 27th, 1997, in the midst of a busy and tight schedule of speeches and religious mass initiations, His Holiness the Dalai Lama took some time on the afternoon of March 24th to share some of his thoughts and to convey a piece of precious, sincere advice to the Tibetan community currently residing in Taiwan.
The Dalai Lama spoke in the eloquent native tongue, Tibetan, without any Chinese or English translation, to an audience primarily comprising of Tibetans, except for some local and international media. In the beginning, he started by talking about the changes taking place in global front. In the Dalai Lama's view, the world is changing, so we Tibetans also need to change. In the past, a few individuals have caused unnecessary misunderstanding between the two sides, Taiwan and the Tibetan exile government in India. He reiterated no grudge or ill feeling towards the Chinese people. In fact, he confirmed a pressing need for much closer cooperation between Chinese and Tibetans to better enhance a cordial mutual understanding. Henceforth, speaking optimistically about this trip, the Dalai Lama exclaimed the commencement of a new era of mutual interaction and cooperation between Taiwan and the Tibetan exile government.
Then immediately, the tone turned serious and grave when he mentioned the lamas staying in Taiwan. In the past, the deceitful acts and folly tricks by a few Tibetan lamas badly stained and hampered the image of lamas in Taiwan. The Dalai Lama reverberated the importance of strongly adhering to and exercising the spiritual duty of honesty, sincerity and compassion, that every lama ought to behave uprightly while preaching the sacred Buddhist religion. In the end, the Dalai Lama earnestly requested all lamas to sincerely abide by the spiritual code of responsibility, as a Tibetan lama, to the society no matter where they are and what deeds they undertake.
For all those Tibetan students in Taiwan, the Dalai Lama encouraged them to study hard and to keep up the ethical Tibetan code of conduct based on sincerity and compassion when dealing with other Chinese students. Dalai Lama expressed his wish that university students, after finishing college or university studies, should return if possible to Nepal or India to serve the Tibetan community back home. To the people working in Taiwan, the Dalai Lama asked them to strictly abide by the country's law and never to engage in any violent or criminal acts. The Dalai Lama set himself up as an example, saying that wherever he goes or whatever he does, he always keeps in mind the reality of being a Tibetan monk and always acts as a responsible lama. Therefore, being a Tibetan person, each of us needs to be very careful of our actions. If we act negatively, other people will have a negative image of Tibetans. On the other hand, if we act positively, the image would be positive. So it is the duty of everyone to enhance the positive image and negate the negative image.
At the end of the speech, the Dalai Lama expressed his keen desire for a meeting with the president of Republic of China (R.O.C.), Lee Tung-hui; this meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 27. The Dalai Lama said, "During this meeting, I will propose to the President the idea of possibly setting up a representative office on behalf of the exile government in the future." Through such a representative office, the Dalai Lama expressed a high level of optimism in promoting better interactive and progressive communication between the two sides. In the long run, exchanges in the field of culture, religion and sociology can also be intensified. Through such exchanges, both sides can achieve in-depth mutual understanding that will be conducive to a healthy future relationship. Throughout the speech, the whole audience was continuously blessed by the compassionate living Buddha. In fact, one cannot resist being mesmerized by the Dalai Lama's radiant euphoria of boundless compassion.
Tashi Gelek is a young Tibetan currently living in Taiwan. He was born in Nepal to a family that originally came from Kham, the eastern region of Tibet. He received high school education in India and went to college in Taiwan. He was among the Tibetans who met with the Dalai Lama on March 24. Thank you, Tashi, for sharing with us this report of the Dalai Lama's wonderful teaching!