Milton Keynes, 6 May 2018:
The city of Milton Keynes, boasting vast areas of green space and beautiful lakes, is home to the majestic Nipponsan Myohoji Buddhist Temple where the Tibetan national flag was hoisted for the fifth consecutive year on Sunday, 6 May 2018.
Local resident and Tibet supporter Catherine Mostyn Scott, who started the flag raising event here in 2014 has been organising this annual event ever since, along with her team of dedicated volunteers.
While the sun shone with all it generosity outside, the formal ceremony and speeches were held inside the cool confines of the Nipponsan Myohoji Buddhist Temple which was crammed to capacity. Those without seats stood near the temple door to watch the proceedings.
In the presence of the Abbot and priests of the temple and a Buddhist monk the ceremony began with welcome by organiser Catherine, and speeches by The Mayor of Milton Keynes Cllr David Hopkins and the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Mr Chonpel Tsering.
In his address, Mayor Hopkins reflected on the fact that Tibetans inside Tibet could be imprisoned with lengthy jail sentences for such a simple act as flying the Tibetan national flag. He said that he wanted to show his solidarity with the Tibetans with his presence at the Tibetan flag raising event.
Representative Chonpel Tsering expressed deepest appreciation to Catherine and her team, and thanked the Mayor for his kind words. Informing those gathered about the Thank You year which is being observed by the Central Tibetan Administration – to mark 60 years since the beginning of exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the Representative thanked everyone present and their friends and families for their support through all these years. He remarked on the significance of such events to the Tibetan cause and expressed hope for a brighter tomorrow in Tibet.
Before the flag was blessed to be hoisted, singer Lee James Billingham performed a song which he wrote for the occasion.
Out in the hot and sunny day, the Mayor and the Representative hoisted the flag to a loud cheer and applause by the more than 60 supporters.
The event ended with a run, flagged off by the Mayor, by a small group of Tibet flag-bearers, who raced around the nearby Willen Lake, raising awareness about Tibet to passers-by in the process.
– Report filed by Office of Tibet London –