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The news about the auction/sale of the Tibetan Cultural Center and grounds in Bloomington came as a shock (The Star, May 26). I cannot imagine the pain and anguish of its founder Dr. Thubten Norbu, the brother of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. His life-time of work and dream to build a spiritual refuge for the uprooted Tibetan people and culture in America's heartland is about to be shattered.

The Chamste Ling Interfaith Temple near Indiana University is an interfaith center for all religions dedicated by the Dalai Lama in 2003. For countless millions of other faiths, His Holiness is an illustrious spiritual teacher and man of peace. With Dalai Lama's four visits to the area, Buddhists consider this as hallowed ground; many others consider this sacred space as an "island of peace." This is a cultural treasure: an emerging international pilgrimage center and a unique spiritual tourism site.

Religious institutions need to be financially responsible, meet their obligations, and honor the laws of the land. The Tibetan Temple/Cultural Complex cannot be exempt from that basic responsibility. However given the urgency and its importance, our philanthropic foundations, interfaith and educational institutions, successful Buddhists and others must step forward to save this cultural site from disappearing and simultaneously to work on its future stability. Our timely action or lack there of sends an important message to the world. Hoosiers have an opportunity to honor a spiritual leader of our times, Tibetans around the world, and faiths that today enrich our cultural landscape.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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