Thursday, June 21 2012 @ 07:40 pm BST
|John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, welcomes His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Houses of Parliament, London, UK. Also seen in the picture is Tibetan Parliament Speaker Penpa Tsering (1st right in second row)/Photo/Ian Cumming / Office of Tibet|
DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Westminster Abbey in London yesterday brought memories of Tibet’s historical ties with Britain before it was invaded by the People’s Republic of China.
Welcoming him to the Jerusalem Chamber, the Very Reverend John R Hall, the Dean, commented on the rich history of the room itself. It was a significant location for His Holiness to meet British people who had lived and worked in Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion. The son of Robert Ford, the radio operator who served in Kham and was later imprisoned by the Chinese, read a message from his father who was indisposed. He spoke of being a witness to a free Tibet, a country the size of France and Germany, an independent country with its own government, language, customs and way of life. He said the Tibetans he encountered were honest, gentle and joyful, devoted to their religion and to their leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness recalled that on his first visit to Europe in 1973 he had been impressed to discover people in England who could speak a little Tibetan, which he took as evidence of the links that had existed between Tibet and Great Britain. These were people who as a result of their stay there understood what Tibet was. He said, “I am very happy to be here. Our struggle is between the power of truth and justice and the power of the gun. In the short term the power of the gun seems stronger, but in the long term the power of truth will prevail. We are determined that our struggle remains non-violent and as a result we have a strong base of support and solidarity here and in other countries, and even among increasing numbers of informed Chinese.
“Please keep Tibet in your thoughts and tell other people what you know about Tibet, her people and environment, thank you,” His Holiness said.