MOSCOW, February 11 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin wished a happy New Lunar Year to Russia’s Buddhists on Monday, as they marked their main religious festival, the Kremlin reported on its website.
"The White Moon feast (or the Sagaalgan holiday in Buryat language), which marks the Lunar New Year, has ancient and fine traditions which have become an integral part of the spiritual and cultural heritage of our multi-ethnic Motherland,” Putin wrote. The Buddhist holiday is celebrated in Mongolia and in some parts of Russia, notably neighboring Buryatia.
Some 1.3 million Buddhists live in Russia, mainly in the republics of Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva, where celebrations have been held throughout Sunday and Monday.
Russia’s republic of Buryatia marked the new lunar year on Sunday night and enjoyed a day off on Monday, an official holiday in the republic since 1990.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also sent his wishes on Monday, praising Buddhists for encouraging “inter-confessional dialogue” and “friendship between peoples of the multinational country.”
In the last few years, Russia’s Buddhists have repeatedly appealed to the country’s leadership to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and spiritual head of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Buddhism followed in Mongolia, Russia and Tibet.
Russia however, enjoys close political and economic ties with China, which has strongly criticized other nations for allowing visits by the Dalai Lama, who has now renounced all political roles but is still revered by his people. China occupied Tibet in 1950 and claims the region has been part of the country for centuries, while Tibetan separatists maintain their claim to independence.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.
Users can initiate the recovery of their account / unlock access by contacting the moderators at email@example.com
The letter must contain:
If the moderators deem it possible to restore the account / unlock access, it will be done.
In the case of repeated violations of the rules above resulting in a second block of a user’s account, access cannot be restored.
To contact the team of moderators, write to firstname.lastname@example.org