The Dalai Lama on Thursday wrote to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik expressing sadness over the loss of life and devastation caused in the wake of Cyclone Amphan ravaging several districts of the two states.
In a letter addressed to both CMs, the 84-year-old said, I appreciate the prior preparations that were made to respond to this natural disaster and the efforts that are underway to provide relief and assistance to those affected. As a mark of solidarity with the people of West Bengal and Odisha, I am making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the relief and rebuilding efforts.
I would like to convey my condolences to you, to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all those affected by Cyclone Amphan, he added.
Evoking the ancient connections between Bengal and Buddhism, he remarked, In addition to our profound respect for India as a sacred land, which has also been home to many Tibetans over the last 61 years, we have a special regard for Bengal. This is because Shantarakshita, the great philosopher and dialectician who established Samy, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Tibet in the 8th century CE, and Dipankara Atisha, who revived the practice of Buddhism in the 11th century, both hailed from Bengal.
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