Facelift for ancient Tibetan buildings

XinhuaNet, April 15, 2005

BEIJING, China -- The biggest ever repair programme at two palaces belonging to the Dalai Lamas and at an ancient lamasery in the Tibet Autonomous Region are in full swing and are expected to be finished next year.

<< Potala Palace

The 330-million-yuan (US$40 million) renovation programme, which was started in 2002, will help prevent the 1,300-year-old Potala Palace, the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas, from being eroded by wind and eaten by worms and rats.

Also on the list for repairs are the Norbuglinkha, the summer resort of the Dalai Lamas, and the Sagya Lamasery, which contains numerous rare religious relics, according to Xin Gaosuo, deputy director of the region's Cultural Bureau.

He said the central and regional governments have also jointly allocated more than 100 million yuan (US$12 million) to renovate old ordinary residential buildings in Lhasa, the regional capital, in order to bring back the original flavour of the old city.

The white-and-maroon Potala Palace, perched atop a craggy hill that dominates Lhasa's skyline, was built in the seventh century and enlarged in the 17th century. The stone-wood compound is considered a model of traditional Tibetan architecture.

The on-going renovation project is the second phase of repairs being carried out on the 117-metre-tall palace, where problems such as subsidence, an infestation of moths and damage to frescoes have occurred, said Xin.

The first phase of renovation on the palace was carried out in 1989 at a cost of 55 million yuan (US$6.7 million) and took five years to complete.

Champa Kalsang, head of the Potala Palace Administration Office, said many Tibetan craftsmen participated in the renovation of the ancient buildings.

He said he believed that since all the repairs were conducted on the basis of retaining the palace's original appearance, its historical and cultural value would not be sacrificed in the repairs.

Situated in the western suburbs of Lhasa, Norbuglinkha was built in the middle of the 18th century and served as the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. It was where they handled political affairs, practised religious activities and spent their holidays.

Both the Potala Palace and Norbuglinkha have been listed as World Heritage Sites.

The third major structure under renovation is the Sagya Lamasery, which has been dubbed the second Dunhuang Grottoes because of its huge collection of Buddhist scriptures. It also has priceless porcelain and vivid murals dating back nearly 1,000 years. A large number of murals have begun to crack or blister.

"Rehabilitation of the murals is one of the most technically demanding tasks in the renovation," said Xin.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv