Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama greets press at the Light of Truth Award ceremony in Berlin, 2005

Amsterdam: The Dalai Lama will present the International Campaign for Tibet’s Light of Truth award to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Herg Foundation, a non-profit association in the memory of the creator of comic book character Tintin, during the Tibetan leader’s visit to Brussels in June 2006. The Light of Truth award honors individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to the public understanding of Tibet.

The awards ceremony on 1 June takes place during the Dalai Lama’s high-profile nine-day visit to Brussels from 29 May – 6 June 2006. During the visit, the Dalai Lama will also give Buddhist teachings and is expected to meet with European parliamentarians and EU Commission and Belgian government officials.

Tsering Jampa, Executive Director of ICT Europe, said: “We are particularly proud to honor Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Herg Foundation for their longstanding support for Tibetan culture and the Tibetan people. For many, Herg’s depiction of Tibet was their introduction to the awe-inspiring landscape and culture of Tibet, while Archbishop Tutu’s struggle against apartheid and injustice in the face of adversity is an inspiration to Tibetans around the world.”

Archbishop Tutu, who is a close friend of the Dalai Lama, will receive the Light of Truth award for his leadership in championing the rights of oppressed people not only in South Africa, but throughout the world. The Herg? Foundation will receive the Light of Truth award for upholding Georges Remi’s legacy as the author of Tintin in Tibet, a book which brought the Tibetan landscape and culture to new audiences across the world. In 2001 the Foundation blocked Chinese attempts to rewrite Tintin’s and Tibet’s history by demanding the recall of the Chinese-language book, which had published the book using the title “Tintin in China’s Tibet”.

The Dalai Lama will address the Light of Truth event on June 1 at 15.00 at the Concert Noble in Brussels. The award-winners will be introduced by Mr. Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, before an audience of politicians, diplomats and representatives of major political and human rights institutions in Brussels. “Holding this event in Brussels, at the political centre of the European Union, is an important reminder that peaceful movements can bring about change if they are given the support they deserve. Both Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama believe that conflicts can be resolved without violence and this Light of Truth award acknowledges that,” said Ms Jampa.

The Light of Truth award is a Tibetan butter-lamp symbolizing the light that each recipient has shed on the struggle for human rights and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people. Past recipients of the Light of Truth award include: Václav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic; Elie Wiesel, world-renowned author, political activist, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986; Heinrich Harrer, mountaineer and author of Seven Years in Tibet; Danielle Mitterrand, President of France Libert?s Foundation; Martin Scorsese, Director, and Richard Gere, actor and humanitarian.

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) works to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. Founded in 1988, ICT is a non-profit membership organization with offices in Washington D.C., Amsterdam and Berlin.