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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Extends Message to 1st Europe Tibetan Congress

October 14, 2008
October 11, 2008,

Dharamshala -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama has extended his message
to the representatives of Tibetan communities across Europe, who are
holding the first Europe Tibetan Congress in Basel, Switzerland, from
11-12 October.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama could not attend the inauguration
ceremony of the congress, since His Holiness had to cancel his visit
to Switzerland due to slight indisposition.

In his message issued on 3 October, His Holiness said: "I am pleased
to know that a congress of Tibetans is being held in Basel,
Switzerland, to which representatives of Tibetan communities across
Europe have been invited."

His Holiness said: "Tibetans in Europe, of whom the largest number
have been settled in Switzerland since the early 1960s, have been
well integrated in their adopted countries. They have also worked
hard to preserve their identity and our Tibetan culture, which,
deeply influenced by Buddhism, embodies knowledge and values that I
believe have the potential to be of benefit to humanity in general."

"The fact that new generations of Tibetans, who have been born and
brought up in foreign lands, are able to follow their elders in
upholding our cultural heritage in exile and creating a greater
awareness of the Tibetan issue amongst the international public is a
source of pride. Therefore, I offer my greetings to all of you on
this occasion and encourage you to redouble your efforts in these
activities," His Holiness said.

His Holiness said: "The Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, who is
Chairman of the elected Tibetan political leadership in exile will be
attending this congress. I have no doubt that he will give a thorough
explanation of the issues that are of greatest concern to us today."

The two-day congress will begin with a long life prayer for His
Holiness the Dalai Lama, followed by a keynote address by Kalon
Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.

Around 127 delegates from over 15 countries will attend the congress.

During the course of the meeting, the delegates will focus on
discussing responsibilities and challenges for Tibetans living in
Europe on how to preserve and promote Tibet's unique culture,
religion, language and identity.

They will also deliberate to find ways to improve the Tibetan
people's social, culture and human rights situation in Tibet.
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