The Dalai Lama celebrated his 87th birthday on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishing him over the phone and his supporters celebrating at a massive event here.
To commemorate the occasion, the Dalai Lama dedicated a catalog and a museum in Dharamshala, home to the Tibetan ‘government-in-exile’ and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The main event at the Buddhist temple complex in Mcleodganj was attended by a large number of his supporters as well as several prominent people, including Himachal Pradesh minister Rakesh Pathania, local MLA Vishal Nehria, actor-activist Richard Gere, erstwhile diplomats, and Tibetan administration office-bearers.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was present virtually and wished the Dalai Lama. Thakur spoke about the devotion with which the Dalai Lama works for humanity and spirituality. He stated that the spiritual leader has maintained Tibet’s natural and cultural resources.
He stated that the Dalai Lama’s nonviolent efforts to resolve Tibet’s issues set an example for the rest of the world. Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the Central Tibetan Administration’s ‘prime minister,’ griped that Tibetans choosing to live in their native land are unable to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday due to “unabated Chinese government restrictions.”
Gere, a strong proponent of the Tibetan cause, also spoke to the crowd. “Tibetans, you should be proud because once in a millennium, perhaps twice in a millennium, such a person, such a human being as the Dalai Lama emerges, and he is a Tibetan,” the actor said, praising the spiritual leader.
Pathania, the state forest minister, spoke as a delegate of Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister. Several dance performance evaluations from diverse communities were structured as part of the cultural curriculum. Several medals were also given out in areas such as community health care and CTA service.
China has previously accused the Dalai Lama of engaging in “separatist” activities; however, the Tibetan spiritual leader has kept insisting that the “Middle-Way approach” seeks “genuine independence for all Tibetans living in the three traditional regions of Tibet.”