Earthquake Victims in Tibet

April 14 was Rumiko’s and my 30th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with joy and then were dismayed to hear about the Tibetan earthquake tragedy that day. More than 1,700 people have died and an estimated 10,000 mostly ethnic Tibetans were injured and left homeless in near-freezing temperatures after an earthquake struck a region of Kham, Tibet. More than 85 percent of the houses in Kyigudo, a town of 100,000 people nearest the epicenter, were destroyed along with a major monastery.

I encourage friends to donate relief funds, either directly to an appropriate organization like The Tibet Fund Emergency Earthquake Relief, or by sending a donation to Rumiko’s and my charity Blue Lotus Assembly to form a collection we will donate as a group.

May 13 update: I made a presentation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on stage in front of the audience when he visited us, and requested that he add ours to his contribution to relief work. We collected over $3,000 in donations. That goes a long way in Tibet!

Please join us in keeping the victims of this earthquake in our thoughts and prayers and assisting financially if you are able. So far, the following friends have contributed:
Curtis Adkins
Jacob Bassham
Boulder Quest Center
Brent deMoville
Maison Dhondt
Daniel L. Dunn
Tori Eldrige
Michael Erwin
Tony Griffin family
Richard Harrington
Jackie Haviland
Marissa Hayes
Reina Hayes
Stephen & Rumiko Hayes
Rick Jurvis
Christos Karatsalos
Jesper Ljungquist
Joel Minton
Eamonn Mullaly
Neal Nemhauser
Russell Nemhauser
Newbury Park Martial Arts
Steve Pavlovic
Michael Piper
Robain Polly
Kyle Smith
Marco Tillmann
Richard Titcombe
Jerry C. Townsend
Gail Whipple

From His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

“As I mentioned briefly soon after I heard the news, I was deeply saddened by the effects of the devastating earthquake in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Tibetan:Kyigudo) of Qinghai Province which resulted in the tragic loss of many lives, a great number of injured and severe loss of property. Because of the physical distance between us, at present I am unable to comfort those directly affected,but I would like them to know I am praying for them.

I commend the monastic community, young people and many other individuals from nearby areas for their good neighbourly support and assistance to the families of those who have lost everything. May your exemplary compassion continue to grow. This kind of voluntary work in the service of others really puts the bodhisattva aspiration into practice.

I also applaud the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas, especially Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has not only personally offered comfort to the affected communities, but has also overseen the relief work. I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to report on the tragedy and its aftermath.

In 2008, when a similar earthquake struck Sichuan, Chinese central and local government leaders and auxiliary authorities took great pains to provide relief, allow free access to the media, as well as clearing the way for international relief agencies to provide assistance as required. I applauded these positive moves then and appeal for such ease of access on this occasion too.

The Tibetan community in exile would like to offer whatever support and assistance it can towards the relief work. We hope to be able to do this through the proper and appropriate channels as soon as possible.

When Sichuan was rocked by an earthquake two years ago, I wished to visit the affected areas to pray and comfort the people there, but I was unable to do so. However, when Taiwan was struck by a typhoon last year, I was able to visit the affected families and pray with them for those who had perished in that disaster. In providing some solace to the people concerned, I was happy to be able to do something useful.

This time the location of the earthquake, Kyigudo (Chinese: Yushu), lies in Qinghai Province,which happens to be where both the late Panchen Lama and I were born. To fulfill the wishes of many of the people there, I am eager to go there myself to offer them comfort.

In conclusion, I appeal to governments, international aid organisations and other agencies to extend whatever assistance they can to enable the families of those devastated by this tragedy to rebuild their lives. At the same time, I also call on the survivors of this catastrophe to recognise what has happened as the workings of karma and to transform this adversity into something positive, keeping their hopes up and meeting setbacks with courage as they struggle to restore what they have lost. Once again, I pray for those who have lost their lives as well as for the well being of those who have survived.”

17 April 2010

Contacts: Chhime R. Chhoekyapa, Secretary
Tenzin Taklha, Joint Secretary

4 comments to “Earthquake Victims in Tibet”

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  1. We are going to gather donations here in Boulder and send them to the Blue Lotus Assembly to add in. Several of my students have made pledges already. Thanks for providing us this opportunity to help in a way that also feels personally connected through “friends of friends”.

  2. Financially we are stressed at the moment in South Africa, as many are buying emergency supplies, fuel & food due to the worsening political situation in the country, but we will donate what we can, as soon as we can.

    This reminds us that no matter how bad the situation is that you find yourself in, there is always people in a worse situation.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims who have lost loved ones and their homes.

  3. quote:
    This reminds us that no matter how bad the situation is that you find yourself in, there is always people in a worse situation.
    I believe that we can honestly say that we all experience at some point the effects of what is called “the crisis”, whether it is plain financial, economic or even stressful living and work uncertainties right now.

    For a few moments, after seeing and reading this blog post, I was tempted to dismiss this urgent call for help.

    Very few people can afford spending more money then they really need to spend, but how-ever small your contribution is, you just cannot afford yourself to bail out of helping those courageous people who have lost the most precious jewels in their lives.

    I completely agree with Kevin Ji-Keitoshi Casey’s words “Thanks for providing us this opportunity to help in a way that also feels personally connected through “friends of friends”.”

    While we sip on our luxury starbucks/nespresso coffee, people are starving and homeless…. how many coffees are you willing to not drink to safe a persons home? Have a coffee, put a $$ a side…for a week, and donate what you spend on one week of coffee. (please 🙂 )
    I cannot believe I almost missed this occasion to help and create positive momentum.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims who have lost loved ones and their homes.

  4. Christos Karatsalos says: -#1

    This is the most beautiful recognition acknowledgment, to train to be able to have the opportunity every day to recognize the power of love, the power of freedom the power the strength you need for searching, exploring and find the family you want you always wanted and the teacher you need, you always needed and then you realize that you are not alone, you have everything you want, you always wanted, need, you always needed, all around you, and you are rich, the most rich person in the world with the same rich persons around you, your friends. What a grate reason to live your life, helping friends, your World.

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