Tibetans usher in Dalai Lama's 78th birthday
Tibetan exiles assembled in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh and Bylakuppe, Karnataka yesterday morning to celebrate the 78th birthday of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
“Exiles, monks and well-wishers joined the birthday celebrations. Prayers for the well-being and long life of the spiritual leader were held across Tibetan settlements in India and abroad,” an official of the Dalai Lama’s office in Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said, adding that the Dalai Lama participated in functions in Bylakuppe, one of the largest settlements of the exiles in India.
In a brief address in Tibetan, the Nobel Peace Prize winner thanked the Indian government and the people for their hospitality to the exiled Tibetans.
Special prayers were also held at the hilltop Tsuglagkhang temple close to the official palace of the Dalai Lama at McLeodganj near Dharamsala where hundreds assembled braving heavy rains.
Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of the Tibetan people, said Tibetan democracy in exile is the result of decades of efforts by the Dalai Lama. “Tibetan democracy in exile from its infancy to today’s consolidated state is the result of decades of efforts by the Dalai Lama,” said the political successor of the Dalai Lama.
“His Holiness’ outreach to Chinese students and scholars and his teachings to Chinese Buddhist practitioners are shaping Chinese attitudes towards Tibet and Tibetans,” Sangay said.
Born on July 6, 1935 at Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. He fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile here.