On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, I extend my affectionate greetings to all our Chinese brothers and sisters across the globe, including those living in Mainland China.
The past year witnessed many developments throughout the world and particularly in China, at times worrying us while at other times filling our hearts with happiness. Besides having to bear the brunt of natural disasters and other problems that hit the country, China also had the proud moments like hosting the world's greatest sporting event, the Olympic Games. The year that ended is, therefore, marked with great changes taking place everywhere.
These days, due to the global economic meltdown, the people of the world in general, and of the developing countries in particular, are plunged into an abyss of anxiety and suffering. To pray for the end of all sufferings of humanity, as well as for their happiness and well-being, is a responsibility that rests on all believers.
While once again extending my warm greetings to the Chinese people, I hope and pray that in the coming year the People's Republic of China will be able to create a meaningful harmonious society by ensuring equality, justice and friendship among all its nationalities.
The Dalai Lama
25 January 2009
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