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Kalachakra Committee’s Guideline for Pilgrims in Light of Recent Currency Demonetisation Drive in India

The emergency meeting of the Kalachakra organising committee headed by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, 16 November 2016.

DHARAMSHALA: In light of the difficulties faced by Tibetan pilgrims as a result of the recent demonetisation drive by the Indian Government, the organising committee of the 34th Kalachakra held an emergency meeting headed by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay at 02:30 pm today to ameliorate the situation.

Following the meeting, the committee issued the following guidelines:

Tibetans from Tibet who have at the moment come to Dharamshala on pilgrimage and are currently facing shortage of cash to pay for accommodation and daily sustenance would be welcomed at the Tibetan Reception Center in Dharamshala. Efforts are underway to make accommodation and food arrangements at the Tibetan Reception Center.

The organising committee encouraged Tibetans coming to India for pilgrimage to convert their respective country’s currency into US dollars. As US dollars are considered more stable, it would be easier to exchange the dollars into the new Indian currency once you are in India. However, the committee emphasised the need to respect the host country’s legal compliance regulations with regard to foreign exchange.

The organising committee also assured that it will endeavor to arrange for facilities to accept contributions in the form of cheques and online transactions (credit and debit cards) during the Kalachakra.

Meanwhile, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration expressed its deep concern at the news of Tibetan pilgrims being detained at the Indo-Nepalese border and reports of valid passport of Tibetans being revoked without reason by the Chinese government.

“These Tibetans are devout Buddhists and embark on pilgrimages to India and Nepal solely for spiritual purposes,” the Kashag said.

“A pilgrimage to the holy Buddhist sites in India and Nepal is equivalent to Muslims undertaking the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca or Catholics to the Vatican,” it added.

“In this regard, the Chinese government should allow Tibetans the basic right to practice their faith without intervention,” the Kashag implored.kala