Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama celebrates 86th birthday

 The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama celebrated his 86th birthday on Tuesday, thanking his supporters and expressing his appreciation to India, where he has lived since he fled his homeland in 1959.He reiterated his mission to serve humanity and urged supporters to be compassionate.

abc News

This is the first time Modi has publicly confirmed speaking with the Dalai Lama since becoming prime minister in 2014. The acknowledgment appears significant amid deteriorating ties between India and China, which doesn’t recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile and accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to separate Tibet from China.

A military conflict last year between India and China along their disputed high-altitude border dramatically altered the already fraught relationship between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

The Dalai Lama has made the hillside town of Dharmsala his headquarters since fleeing Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. India considers Tibet to be part of China, though it hosts Tibetan exiles.

The Dalai Lama denies being a separatist and says he merely advocates substantial autonomy and protection of Tibet's native Buddhist culture.

On Tuesday, a small celebration attended mostly by government officials was held at the Central Tibetan Administration. The Dalai Lama's video message was played on a screen and followed by a cultural performance by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.

Usually, the spiritual leader's birthday is a fairly elaborate affair in the town, open to members of the public who flock to the Tsuglakhang Temple where performances are held. Sometimes, the Dalai Lama also made an appearance.

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