Taiwan President follows PM Modi, wishes Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday greeted the 14th Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday. This was the second such call to the Tibetan spiritual leader by Modi since he took over as the prime minister of the country in 2014.
The officials in Dharamshala said Modi spoke to the 14th Dalai Lama for almost 20 minutes on Tuesday morning and His Holiness, who is in Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, was delighted to receive the call.
Apart from PM Modi, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen – a country claimed by China – also wished the revered leader on this birthday, sources close to the development said.
In a Twitter post, Ing-wen said, “Wishing a very happy 86th birthday to His Holiness the@DalaiLama. Thank you for teaching us the importance of coming together to help one another through this pandemic.”
Many other leaders of international stature and several chief ministers also called up to wish the Dalai Lama throughout the day.
Prominent among them are foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and road transport minister Nitin Gadkari.
US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry also took to Twitter to greet the Tibetan spiritual leader on his birthday. He said that “peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated.
The envoy’s tweet followed another tweet by US Ambassador in India Atul Keshap, who said the Dalai Lama's messages of peace and compassion inspire and transcend globally.
Several chief ministers including Punjab’s Captain Amarinder Singh, Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Sikkim’s Prem Singh Tamang and Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal also greeted the Dalai Lama in a show of respect.
Other leaders who also called him included oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, chief ministers Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh), Pamod Sawant (Goa), Conrad Sangma (Meghalaya), James Sangma (Meghalaya's minister of environment and forests) and Bimal Borah (sports and culture minister in Assam).
In exile now for 62 years, the 14th Dalai Lama has been a symbol of struggle for the Tibetan people to the entire world.