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Dalai Lama turns 77, reiterated commitments on religious harmony

Festivities started early this morning with long life prayers, traditional Tibetan dance and songs and sweets marking the 77th birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2012 19:56 IST
Naresh Kumar
Naresh Kumar
Hindustan Times

Festivities started on early Friday morning with long life prayers, traditional Tibetan dance and songs and sweets marking the 77th birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

Thousands of Tibetan exiles, monks, nuns and followers of the Dalai Lama from across the world, including Chinese national, assembled to attend the celebration in the courtyard of Tsuglakhang temple near the official palace of elderly monk at Mcleodganj.

Special prayers session for the long life of the Dalai Lama was held at the temple on Friday morning.

An official program was held to celebrate the occasion that was attended by the local MLA and industries minister, Kishan Kapoor, as a special guest.

Along with the first political successor of the Dalai Lama, Kalon Tripa, Lobsang Sangay, the 17th Karmapa, Ogeyn Trinley Dorje and officials of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) attended the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, the spiritual leader reiterated his two commitments - promotion of religious harmony and individual responsibility.

"Until I am alive, I will keep promoting religious harmony and individual responsibility towards the humanity," said the Dalai Lama.

He said that each day was a new day for him and he tries to do something good on each day.

Despite living under continuous repression for past 53 years, the Tibetans inside Tibet have preserved and kept alive their culture and traditions, the Dalai Lama said acknowledging the courage and indomitable spirit of Tibetans, especially those inside Tibet.

He expressed gratitude towards Tibetans and his friends across the world for their heartfelt greetings. He also thanked the government and people of Himachal Pradesh for their hospitality.

Kalon Tripa or Tibetan Prime Minister in exile once insisted on the early resumption of dialogue with China that are on a standstill for the past last two years.

"The Tibetan leadership is firmly committed to non-violence and the middle way approach which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibetans' within the People's republic of China and within the framework of Chinese Constitution," said Sangay.

"We believe that the only way to resolve the Tibetan issue is through dialogue and we are prepared to engage in meaningful dialogue anywhere and at any time," he added.

Urging the Communist China to accept the middleway approach, Sangay said the Tibetan leadership is ready to announce envoys of the Dalai Lama to continue the dialogue process.

It may be recalled that both envoys of the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, who held nine rounds of talks with China since 2002 had resigned in June. The ninth and last round of talks was held in Beijing in January 2010.

Sangay also reiterated the commitment of his government to facilitate the return of the Dalai Lama to the Potala Palace in Tibet.

"The Dalai Lama's return to Tibet is the wish of all Tibetans and the universal cry of all those self- immolated," said Sangay.

Born in a farming family at Taktser hamlet in Amdo province of Tibet on July 6, 1935, the Lhamo Dhondup was recognised as the reincarnation 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso at the age of two.

He fled along with his 80,000 followers after a failed uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959.

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