Dalai Lama expresses sadness over devastating bushfires in Australia

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures during a teaching session in Bodh Gaya, India, on 6 January 2020.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures during a teaching session in Bodh Gaya, India, on 6 January 2020. File photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor

Tibet Sun Online News

ON THE WEB, 8 January 2020

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama expressed sadness about the bushfires that are still occurring and endangering many lives and destroying properties, as well as the environment, in Australia.

In a message released from Bodh Gaya, India, to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he expressed his sympathies to the Prime Minister and to the people of Australia.

“It is simply heart wrenching to learn about these ferocious infernos and yet so inspiring to learn about the personal bravery of so many volunteers who have come together as firefighters.

“May I offer my condolences to the families whose members have lost their lives as a result of the bushfires and to those many people who have become homeless after the fires caused unprecedented damage to property.”

More than a billion animals are now estimated to have been wiped out since Australia’s devastating wildfires started spreading in September. The reported numbers of kangaroos, koalas, and others killed continues to skyrocket, which the Dalai Lama said is ‘very distressing’.

Australia continues to burn after more than a month of raging bushfires, that are not expected to be clearing any time soon even though firefighters, emergency services, and authorities have been working around the clock to take on the fires. It is reported that roughly 60,000 square kilometres have burned, 24 people have died, and 21 people are missing, more than 2,000 homes have been lost, while tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.

Some cheering moments were felt after a soaking rain fell on Monday, but it only brought temporary relief to the residents of New South Wales and Victoria. The bushfires remain blazing, and weather reports indicate the overall weather pattern won’t provide much relief in the coming days and weeks.

The Dalai Lama commended the government efforts to provide necessary support and assistance in dealing with these devastating fires and their consequences.

“May I also add that I am very heartened by generous gestures of solidarity of the global community in their support for the well-being of all those affected. This is an example of the oneness of humanity and its compassionate nature. On an individual level, each and every one of us must now take steps to counter global warming.”

The Dalai Lama has been visiting Australia regularly over the years, promoting human values and religious harmony. His last visit to the country was in June 2018.

The Dalai Lama has been in Bodh Gaya for two weeks, giving teachings and empowerment. About 30,000 devotees, including several thousand from 60 other countries, attended the five-day teachings from 2 January. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called on the Dalai Lama to seek his blessings and to update him on his projects in the state.

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