Elista, March 17, Interfax - A prayer service for a peaceful settlement of the situation in China's Tibet Autonomous Region was being conducted on Sunday at the Golden Shakyamuni Buddha Shrine temple in Elista, Kalmykia.
The prayer was being conducted by Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy, Geshe Tenzin Dugda and by monks, and was being attended by about a thousand believers, an Interfax correspondent reports.
"Today's prayers are for a peaceful settlement, for easing suffering and for a happy resolution of the situation in Tibet," Khongor Elbikov, a deputy of Kalmykia legislature and an aide to Kalmykia's Supreme Lama, said before the prayer.
"We cannot remain on the sidelines, when monks and other people are dying. Kalmyks and Tibetans are brothers and sisters. When one half of a whole suffers, the other half must provide moral support, at least," he said.
Elbikov also read out a statement by Lama Telo Tulku Rinpoche, which says that during peaceful demonstrations marking an anniversary of the 1959 uprising in Tibet, the Tibetan monks made use of "sterner measures," as they responded to "one more denial of the right to speak their mind freely."
"I am saying this not as a politician, but as a spiritual leader of one of Russia's ethnic groups - the people, who have been linked with bonds of spiritual affinity with Tibet for many centuries," Telo Tulku Rinpoche was quoted as saying.
"Buddhism came to Russia in the 17th century and has spread into Russia under the patronage of the Russian rulers. Since then, Tibet and Russia have maintained excellent relations, based on common spiritual values, peace, love and goodness", the statement says.
"I also support the Olympic Games to be held in Beijing - but only if the Chinese government guarantees the observance of human rights in that country," Kalmykia's Buddhist leader said.
"I am saying prayers for our brothers and sisters in Tibet. The truth will triumph. May all living beings be relieved of suffering," Telo Tulku Rinpoche said in the statement.