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Dalai Lama 
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Dalai Lama condoles demise of George Fernandes, calls him a ‘real heroic leader’

Agency News

New Delhi/ Dharamsala, Jan 29 : Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday condoled the demise of noted socialist leader and former Defence Minister George Fernandes, saying he admired the former parliamentarian "because he dedicated himself to what he believed in".

“I admired him greatly because he dedicated himself to what he believed in, no matter how difficult the situation was," the Dalai Lama wrote to Late Fernandes's wife Leila Kabir on Tuesday morning to express his sadness at the passing away of his "old friend George Fernandes".

"He offered his condolences to her and the members of her family," said a statement issued from Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

“I had the privilege of knowing him for over five decades,” His Holiness wrote, adding - “during which time we met regularly, and as you know, I continued to visit him after he retired from active politics".

The statement further said - "George (Fernandes) was a great humanitarian and believer of truth. Throughout his life, his was a voice for the millions of poor and needy people of the country. He had a firm conviction in justice and wisdom. He was a real heroic leader".

The Dalai Lama also said, “He was a steady friend who was sympathetic to· the Tibetan cause right from the beginning. He never missed an opportunity to speak up for the Tibetan people as well as for others in a similar situation.

“Although George and I belong to different religious traditions, as a Buddhist I am confident he will be reborn again to serve his country and in particular the cause of the underprivileged.”

His Holiness ended his letter with prayers for his late friend and the declaration that he would always remember him, the statement said.

The former Defence Minister and ex-vocal lawmaker had repeatedly expressed support for Tibetan refugees fighting for freedom against China. (UNI)