Brussels, Belgium — "To be a supporter of Tibet is not easy because you have to do everything voluntarily without any financial benefits," Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said, expressing his deep gratitude for their generous support to Tibet.
Dr Sangay welcomed delegates ahead of the International Tibet Support Groups Conference at a dinner reception hosted in their honour on September 7, in the Belgian capital of Brussels. The conference which is formally scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 8, will be inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
"At least 250 delegates from Tibet support groups based in 50 countries around the world are expected to take part in the conference," according to a report filed with inputs by Joint Secretary Namgyal Tsewang from Brussels, Belgium.
Welcoming the delegates at the event, the political leader of Tibetan people, expressed his heartfelt greetings and thanked them for their continued support towards the peaceful Tibetan movement.
"On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration, I sincerely welcome you all to the conference, even though I myself arrived here this afternoon," Sikyong said. "To see all our friends, old and new, in one room gives us a great sense of solidarity and a renewed hope for the cause of Tibet and the Tibetan people."
"In the next few days, there will be newer energy and dynamism in the Tibetan movement. Our brainstorming and the strategies that we formulate will infuse new ideas into the Tibetan movement. It will also send a strong message to China that Tibetans are not alone and that the Tibet issue has to be resolved soon," he said.
Sikyong attributed the increasing worldwide support of the Tibetan movement to the hard work of the Tibet supporters. "The Tibetan community in exile is only about 150,000 strong. However, the Tibetan movement has been able to magnify its voice multiple times due to the support of our friends like you," he said.
"To be a supporter of Tibet is not easy because you have to do everything voluntarily without any financial benefits, sometimes even paying from your own pockets," he added, explaining that some of the Tibet supporters have even grown old, sporting grey hairs and lines of wrinkles over the years. "But even then, you have not stopped your support for Tibet. We admire your dedication and remain indebted to you," he expressed.
Sikyong assured that justice will prevail and freedom will be restored to Tibet soon. "When that happens, we can walk together to Lhasa, relishing the authentic taste of Tibetan momos on the iconic Barkhor street and dance to the tunes of Tibetan Changsheys," Sikyong said optimistically to the delegates.