GUWAHATI: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today said the warm-hearted welcome he received on his arrival at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh 58 years ago was a "moment of freedom" for him.
"The days prior to my arrival in India was filled with tension and the only concern was safety, but I experienced freedom when I was received warm heartedly by the people and officials and a new chapter began in my life," The Dalai Lama said recalling his escape from Tibet in 1959.
The spiritual leader was addressing the concluding function of platinum jubilee of 'The Assam Tribune' and golden jubilee of 'The Dainik Asom' group of newspapers. He was visibly moved on watching photographs related to his arrival in India. The photographs were published on the occasion of his visit here.
An emotional Dalai Lama said that the picture of his mother and sister along with other events published in the newspaper had brought back memories of those days, especially the sufferings of thousands of Tibetans who escaped their homes and arrived in India as refugees.
"Pandit Nehru gave us shelter and received us as guests. I am the longest staying guest of the Indian government," he said.
After his arrival in India, he made several visits to European countries and "I realised that with our knowledge and culture, we can contribute to peace and help the world to become a better place.
"In those countries, there is material development, but people are not happy. Anxiety, stress and suspicion plague them and gradually I realised that we can help them with our traditions," the Nobel laureate said.