The award honors those who have made significant contributions to Tibet and the Tibetan people and is one of the most prestigious in the Tibet movement.
“Under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and with the compassionate support of the people of India, the Tibetan people have been able to rebuild both their secular and monastic institutions so that Tibet’s distinctive identity could survive and flourish,” said Richard Gere, Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet.
Mr. Rabi Ray, a noted Indian political leader and former speaker of the Indian Parliament, will receive the award on behalf of the people of India during the closing ceremony of the Tibetan Festival of Compassion on December 18, 2002.
India is the source of Tibetan spiritual and cultural heritage. The Dalai Lama very succinctly defined the nature of the relationship between India and Tibet by saying that India is the Guru (Teacher) and Tibet is its Chela (disciple). In recent times, the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people have been inspired by the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of non-violence, tolerance and compassion.
“No nation or individual has helped the Tibetan people in their time of need more than India and the people of India. India’s assistance and support is unparalleled,” Gere added.
The Light of Truth award was established in 1994. Past recipients include: Heinrich Harrer, author of Seven Years in Tibet; the late Hugh Richardson, the head of the British Indian diplomatic mission in Lhasa; Madame Danielle Mitterrand, former first lady of France; U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; and Mr. A.M. Rosenthal, former editor of the New York Times.
The Light of Truth Award Presentation will be co-hosted by His Excellency R. Venkataraman, former Indian President, and Kasur Tashi Wangdi, Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the Tibetan Festival of Compassion.