Dalai Lama to celebrate 82nd birthday in Ladakh, year after Chinese intrusion
This year’s celebrations come in the backdrop of Indo-China standoff near the border in Sikkim. China has accused India of “betraying” a British-era territorial understanding of their border in Sikkim.Updated: Jul 04, 2017 14:54 IST
Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetans in exile, is all set to celebrate his 82nd birthday in Ladakh on July 6, less than a year after the Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a major stand-off in the area when Chinese troops stopped work on the construction of an irrigation canal being built under the rural development or MNREGA scheme.
This year’s celebrations come in the backdrop of Indo-China standoff near the border in Sikkim. China has accused India of “betraying” a British-era territorial understanding of their border in Sikkim.
Dalai Lama who fled Tibet’s capital Lhasa in 1959 after the Chinese intrusion, will turn 82 on July 6. Fondly referred to as “ His Holiness” by the Tibetan community, Tenzin Gyatso is currently on retreat at Leh.
“His Holiness will be offered a long life offering by the Tibetan Community in Ladakh followed by the official celebrations of His Holiness’ 82nd birthday organised by the Tibetan Community in Ladakh and the Ladakh Buddhist Association,” said Dalai Lama’ itinerary posted on his official website. The event will be held at the Shewatsel Teaching Ground. Tibetan prime minister, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, will also attend the long life prayers.
Dalai Lama fled Lhasa in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Chinese. The Indian government granted asylum to Dalai Lama along with scores of his followers. He denounced the 17-point agreement with China and set up a Tibetan government in exile. Though he gave up his political responsibility in 2011, he is still the face of Tibet’s freedom movement . While Dalai Lama is in favour of greater autonomy for Tibet, other Tibetan organisations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress want complete independence. Dalai Lama’s envoys held eight rounds of talks with China until these were stonewalled in 2008 after turmoil in the Tibetan Autonomous region for which the Chinese blamed Dalai Lama.