Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 29 January 2019
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama offered his condolences to the family of India’s former Defence Minister George Fernandes, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 88 following a prolonged illness. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and was bedridden for the past few years.
Expressing sorrow and grief over the death of his ‘old friend’, the Dalai Lama in his condolence message to Fernandes’ wife and family wrote, “I admired him greatly because he dedicated himself to what he believed in, no matter how difficult the situation was. George was a great humanitarian and believer in truth. Throughout his life, his was a voice for the millions of poor and needy people of the country. He had a firm conviction in justice and wisdom. He was a real heroic leader.”
Fernandes was sympathetic to the Tibetan cause. He had supported and participated in various Tibetan events for decades as an activist, politician and a minister.
The Dalai Lama prayed that may he be reborn again to serve his country and in particular the cause of the underprivileged.
Central Tibetan Administration President Lobsang Sangay remembered him as “the strongest voice on Tibet and truly a great friend of Tibet.”
Sangay said that during his tenure as the Defence Minister, George Fernandes was the first Indian official to call China as the number 1 enemy of India, which Indian people are now realising as true.
Tibetan Youth Congress President Tenzing Jigme visited the grieving family to offer his condolences at their residence in Delhi. The largest Tibetan organisation in exile fighting for an independent Tibet, in a message said, “George Fernandes was a staunch believer and a genuine supporter of an independent Tibet who have fearlessly raised voices against China and also called out China as the potential number 1 threat to India.
“His steadfast contributions towards the cause of Tibet will be etched in the memory of Tibetans and the history of Tibet.”