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12may20101Dharamshala: His Eminence the 17th Kamapa and the Locho Rinpoche, lead a prayer yesterday for the victims of the Kyigudo earthquake. The earthquake, which struck on the 14th April, killed thousands of Tibetans and has left many more homeless.

Under the organisation of The Welfare Society of Dhokham Chusi Gangdruk (Four Rivers, Six Ranges), a mass prayer was held at the main temple in Dharamashala for the quake victims. The service was attended by the Kamapa, Locho Rinpoche, the Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan government in exile, the Deputy Speaker and members of the Tibetan Parliament and hundreds of monks, local Tibetans and foreigners.

The Kamapa introduced the mass prayer by saying, "We will make a heartfelt prayer for the deceased and living victims of the quake". The Director of the Welfare Society of Dhokham Chusi Gangdruk and member of the Tibetan Parliament, Yungdung Gyaltsen, spoke to those in attendance about the devastating effects the earthquake has had on the Tibetan people of Kyigudo. He further emphasised the significance of the customary timing of the prayer service, which marks four weeks after the deaths of the earthquake victims.

Later yesterday evening, the Tibetan Welfare Office based in Dharamasala also organised a candlelight vigil, displaying the community's strong solidarity. The vigil was attended by many, including Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, the Prime Minister of the government in exile.

Another service was held by The Sera Monastery in South India, who organised their own prayer gathering to remember those affected by the quake. Other prayer services were also held as far afield as New York, organised by the Tibetan community living there.

Aid for the Kyigudo people has been led by The Welfare Society of Dhokham Chusi Gangdruk, who have been instrumental in organising the relief effort for the victims. They have received many monetary donations from all over India and across the world. Looking to the future, these donations will help contribute to quickening the recovery effort and regeneration of the Kyigudo region, helping thousands of Tibetans to rebuild their lives.

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