Ottawa, February 22, 2012 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement recognizing Losar, the Tibetan New Year:
Today, Tibetan Buddhists in Canada and around the world mark Losar, the most important day of the lunar Tibetan calendar.
On this first day of 2139, the Year of the Water Dragon, I recall with fondness my participation in past Losar festivities.
I have also had the great honour of meeting more than once with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one of the world’s great champions of peace and pluralism and an honorary Canadian citizen.
Losar is traditionally a time of celebration and joyful gatherings with family and community. We are aware of calls that this year’s celebrations be cancelled on account of the growing unrest. Canada stands in support of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Chinese citizens, including ethnic Tibetans.
As Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, I wish peace in the new year to all who mark this holiday.
I reflect today on the Dalai Lama’s lecture after he accepted the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. In it, His Holiness quoted the words of one of his favorite prayers, written by the 8th Century Buddhist master Shantideva:
For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world.