Bhubaneswar, May 22 (PTI) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, chief ministers of West Bengal and Odisha respectively, expressing his sympathy for the loss of lives and property in the two states ravaged by cyclone Amphan.
In his letters to the two chief ministers, the Buddhist leader said he is making a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust for the relief and rebuilding efforts 'as a mark of solidarity with the people of West Bengal and Odisha.' However, the amount of donation was not mentioned in the statement issued by his office on Thursday.
'This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Ministers of West Bengal and Odisha respectively to express his sadness over the loss of life, the devastation of property, as well as the hardship caused to so many people due to Cyclone Amphan,' said the statement on Thursday.
Cyclone Amphan has claimed 77 lives in West Bengal and Banerjee said the state suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore because of it.
There has been no confirmation of any loss of human life in Odisha due to the cyclone, though it affected nearly 45 lakh people and damaged a large number of houses in the coastal districts.
The Dalai Lama also conveyed his condolences to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all those affected by the storm.
'I appreciate the prior preparations that were made to respond to this natural disaster, and the efforts that are underway to provide relief and assistance to those affected,' the Dalai Lama wrote to each chief ministers.
To the West Bengal chief minister, he said, 'In addition to our profound respect for India as a sacred land, which has also been home to many Tibetans over the last 61 years, we have a special regard for Bengal' mainly because of two great personalities who hailed from it.
They are great philosopher and dialectician Shantarakshita, who established the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Tibet in the 8th century CE, and Dipankara Atisha, who revived the practice of Buddhism in the 11th century, the Dalai Lama said. PTI AAM NN NN