This photo exhibition illustrating the Tibetan spiritual leader's biography in 100 images was thrown open to the public on December 2 by Dr. Wolfgang Zinggl, Member of the Austrian Parliament (Green Party) and the Vice-Chairman of the Cultural Commission of the Austrian Parliament, according to the Tibetan official media: Tibet Net.
The Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Mr. Penpa Tsering, Member of The Tibetan Parliament-in-Europe, Venerable Thupten Wangchen and The representative of the Dalai Lama in Geneva, Mr. Tseten Chhoekyapa were also present for the occasion.
Mr. Peter Neuwirth, a Member of the Social Democrats Party and the Representative of the Chairman of the 5th district in Vienna where the exhibition was being held attended the event as well.
Dr. Zinggl opened the event by expressing that despite him never having been to Tibet, his heart, mind and spirit were very much with the Tibetans.
The Tibetan community in Austria stated that they hope to achieve the promotion of peace in humanity and give insight into the Dalai Lama's deeds to the general public through this exhibition. They also said that it would help visitors get a better understanding of the situation inside Tibet.
Addressing the members of the community the next morning, Mr. Tsering spoke about the Tibetan spiritual leader's devolution of political powers to a directly elected leadership in an detailed manner. He also shed some light on the current political, cultural and educational situation inside Tibet.
Tibet's connection with Austria is a story that began before the Chinese occupation of Tibet.
Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountaineer who spent seven years in Tibet tutored the young Dalai Lama (An eleven-year old boy when they met) on subjects ranging from geography to English till he left for his homeland in 1952.
The Dalai Lama and Heinrich Harrer remained friends until the latter's death in 2006.
A book and a movie of the same name based on the book, ‘Seven Years in Tibet' authored by Harrer speak about the time he spent in Tibet.
Registered under the Austrian Society's Act, The Tibetan Community of Austria, now a 250-member organization was founded in 1990 to preserve the identity and culture within the Tibetans in the diasporas, launch freedom movement for Tibet and speak up for rights and issues of the Tibetans living within the troubled land.
The community has five member directly elected by the community, six board executives and four local representatives.