His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

His Holiness the Dalai Lama presents Archbishop Desmond Tutu with ICT’s Light of Truth award ‘on behalf of the heroes and heroines who often do not get mentioned.’

Brussels: Today Archbishop Desmond Tutu accepted ICT’s Light of Truth award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama “on behalf of the heroes and heroines who often do not get mentioned.” Tutu gave a touching, often humourous speech about his friendship and respect for the Dalai Lama and drew comparisons between the fight to end apartheid and the Tibetan struggle.

Tutu also called on the Chinese government to “do the right thing” for the Dalai Lama and Tibet and expressed his hope that China’s emerging global political status would see it be a “superpower for the promotion of freedom in the world, especially in Tibet.”

“Bad people do not have the last word. They may have guns and power, but they have already lost…Justice, goodness, compassion and love will prevail. Freedom is unstoppable,” said Tutu.

The Light of Truth award was also awarded to the Herge Foundation before an audience of politicians, diplomats and representatives of major political and human rights institutions in Brussels. Mrs Rodwell, founder of the foundation, said “that Herge would not have expected that 40 years after he produced Tintin in Tibet, it would have such an impact.”

In opening remarks Ms Tsering Jampa, Executive Director of ICT Europe, said that ICT’s goal is “to ensure that the issues that affect the lives of the 6 million Tibetans inside Tibet are at the heart of the European Union’s engagement with China.”

“Since ICT’s inception, we have never wavered in our support for a non-violent solution to the Tibet Issue. We truly hope that Western institutions will give this kind of freedom struggle the support it so richly deserves,” said Ms Jampa.

The Light of Truth award honours individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to the public understanding of Tibet. This year’s awards ceremony takes place during the Dalai Lama’s nine-day visit to Brussels from 29 May – 6 June 2006. During the visit, the Dalai Lama has met with European parliamentarians and EU Commission and Belgian government officials and will also give Buddhist teachings.

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