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Thich-Tri-TinhDharamsala, HP, India, 1 April 2014 - In a letter to the National Vietnam Buddhist Sangha His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his sadness about the passing away of His Holiness Thich Tri Tinh, the First Supreme Patriarch at the age of ninety-seven.

The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama 'offered prayers for the Patriarch and conveyed his condolences to the Patriarch's followers in Vietnam and elsewhere.'

Citing the Patriarch's significant contribution to the promotion and preservation of Buddhist learning and culture in Vietnam, His Holiness wrote that "the best way to pay tribute to him would be to do whatever we can to implement the Buddha's message of inner peace, non-violence and compassion in our own lives."

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha on March 29 held a solemn memorial service at Van Duc pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Duc district for the Most Venerable Thich Tri Tinh, who passed away the day before at the age of 98.

Born in 1917 in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, Most Venerable Thich Tri Tinh took positions as First Deputy Patriarch and Chairman of the VBS Executive Council, and Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee during his lifetime.

He made significant contributions to gathering Buddhist followers in and out of the country to jointly build a strong Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.

He was conferred with a number of noble distinctions of the Party and State, including the Ho Chi Minh Order, Independence Order (first class), and Great National Unity Order.

According to reports, the funeral, which will run until April 2, has received a lot of attention from mourners nationwide.

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