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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Dalai Lama turns 86; PM, several union minsters, chief ministers wish him healthy life

The Central Tibetan Administration “appeals to the Chinese government” to allow the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 6, 2021 5:16:05 pm
Exile Tibetan government officials watch a message from their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on a screen during a ceremony to mark the 86th birthday of the Tibetan leader in Dharmsala, India, Tuesday, July 6, 2021. (AP)

Tibetan spiritual leader and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, who turned 86 today, said he was committed to “revive ancient Indian knowledge” for the rest of his life.

Various politicians across party lines, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers and chief ministers of various states, wished the Dalai Lama on his birthday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said, “Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday.”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too tweeted: “On behalf of all my fellow Indians, wishing His Holiness the 14th @DalaiLama on his 86th birthday. We consider ourselves fortunate to be inculcating your values in our Delhi government school students through the medium of Happiness Curriculum”.

Birthday celebrations at Tsuglagkhang (popularly known as the Dalai Lama temple/monastery) in McLeodganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh — which is the biggest event for the Tibetan community every year — were not held this time due to Covid-19 pandemic. The celebrations were, rather, a muted affair with the CTA and followers of the Dalai Lama holding prayers for his long life.

Earlier this morning, the Dalai Lama virtually addressed on the occasion of his 86th birthday thanking everyone for the greetings that poured in from all corners of the globe.

President of the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering, front corner, prostrates in front of a portrait of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. (AP)

The Dalai Lama said that he had “taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony” ever since he became a refugee. ” I want to assure you that for the rest of my life I am committed to reviving ancient Indian knowledge,” he said.

“I really appreciate the Indian concept of secular values — not dependent on religion — such as honesty, karuna (compassion) and ahimsa (non-violence),” he said. Saying that he will remain committed to non-violence and compassion till death, the Dalai Lama added, “This is my offering to my friends. All my brothers and sisters should keep these two things in mind—non-violence and compassion. On my birthday, this is my gift,” he said in a four-minute video message released by his private office.

Meanwhile, Kashag (cabinet) — the highest executive office of the Central Tibetan Administration — in a statement released on the Dalai Lama’s birthday, made an “appeal” to China allowing the Dalai Lama and Tibetans-in-exile to visit Tibet.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama is one of the foremost guides of our time and one of the few individuals who can reorient Sino-Tibetan history toward a positive direction. The Chinese government should therefore, recognise that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the key to resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict. It should utilise the opportunity offered by the mutually beneficial ‘Middle Way Approach’ to foster a harmonious environment where the Tibetans and the Chinese can co-exist amicably. Therefore, we appeal to the Chinese government to earnestly invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and China on a pilgrimage without any preconditions”, Kashag’s statement read.

“The current global political climate offers a golden opportunity to highlight the Tibet issue. We should therefore, duly proceed with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s blessings in our hearts to strengthen Tibetan unity. That will be our greatest gift to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his birthday, and I urge everyone to do the same. In conclusion, may His Holiness live for aeons. As per the aspirations of the living and will of the dying, may His Holiness the Dalai Lama be able to visit Tibet as soon as possible. May the Sino-Tibet conflict be resolved as early as possible, which will pave the way for Tibetans inside and outside Tibet to reunite at the earliest”, Kashag said in its statement.

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