Speaking at the ceremony, President Dr Lobsang Sangay said, “Accomplishments of the Tibetan Nuns Project over the years including the re-establishment of one of the most illustrious Tibetan Nunneries in Tibet and laying of the groundwork for highest Buddhist education for Tibetan nuns have made significant contributions to the revival of Tibetan Buddhism in exile.”
“Due to the vision and grace of His Holiness, exile establishments: the Tibetan Medical Institute; the Institute of Performing Arts; Tibetan Medical Institute and the Tibetan Nunneries that were destroyed in Tibet continue to flourish in exile.
“That is spirit of the Tibetan people. We have a will and determination as strong as mountains. No matter how much you destroy us, we will rise up again and again,” he said.
Director of the Tibetan Nuns Project, Rinchen Khando spoke on the history of TNP, its inception in 1987 and remarkable achievements of educating more than 800 Tibetan nuns with establishment of its non-sectarian nunnery, annual inter-nunnery debate and the historic awarding of the first Geshema degree.
She said, during these 30 years, The Tibetan Nuns Project was faced with extraordinary challenges, but succeeded through the remarkable effort of the board, staff and the support of the donors and long time friends.
“Our 30th anniversary is an opportunity to thank our supporters and to take stock of the many historic milestones that would not have been possible without your compassion for the nuns. You and your support will be remembered in the history of Tibet and for future Tibetan Buddhist nuns,” The director said.
Also gracing the occasion were the Education Kalon, Ngodup Tsering, Members of the standing committee of the Tibetan parliament, Joint Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture, other representatives and also the first ever batch of Tibetan Geshema holders and 15 Tibetan nun lopons.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama also met with members of the Tibetan Nuns Project for the occasion. The group included staff, board members, donors, and nearly all the 20 nuns who became Geshe-mas last winter.
His Holiness repeated what he has often stated elsewhere that the way to ensure the survival of the Buddha's teachings is to engage in their study and practice. Laughing, he observed that he is the first Dalai Lama to have encouraged such improvements in the education of nuns. "What you have all achieved," he added, "is something for the Tibetan people as a whole to be proud of."