World leaders greet Dalai Lama on his 88th birthday

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama turned 88 today and said his life is dedicated to helping sentient beings and bringing others as much benefit as possible.

The Dalai Lama (2nd from right) with Himachal Pradesh Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu (right) in Dharamshala. Photo courtesy: HP government
The Dalai Lama (2nd from right) with Himachal Pradesh Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu (right) in Dharamshala. Photo courtesy: HP government

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the Dalai Lama on the occasion. Modi tweeted, "Spoke to His Holiness @DalaiLama and conveyed heartfelt greetings to him on his 88th birthday. Wishing him a long and healthy life."

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu personally extended warm greetings to the Dalai Lama and participated in the celebrations held at the spiritual leader's temple in McLeodGanj in Dharamshala, a statement said.

"I dedicate this life that I have now to helping limitless sentient beings to the best of my ability, and until the end of space. I am determined to bring others as much benefit as I can," the Dalai Lama said in a video clip.

"I urge you to adopt a courageous resolve such as I Lhomo Dhondup from Amdo has done. Please give support to my thoughts. What you have done so far was right. I am just one human being in the short term. I aspire to contribute to world peace in thought, word and death. While in the long term I pray that everyone may reach Buddhahood," he added.

The spiritual leader said the people of the Tibetan community and Himachal Pradesh have a deep-rooted relationship, spanning a remarkable 75 years and highlighted the harmonious coexistence between the two communities and assured to extend a helping hand towards the welfare of the Tibetan community.

The Dalai Lama's kindness and humility serve as an inspiration to many around the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, adding that the United States is unwavering in its commitment to support the linguistic, cultural, and religious identity of Tibetans, including the ability to freely choose and venerate their religious leaders without interference.

"I extend my warmest wishes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 88th birthday, an auspicious day for the Tibetan community," he said.

"His Holiness's kindness and humility serve as an inspiration to many around the world, and I have deep admiration for his ongoing commitment to peace and nonviolence," Blinken said in a statement.

The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet.

India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.

"Today, may we reflect on his messages of compassion and tolerance as we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the human rights of all people, including those of the Tibetan community," the top US diplomat said in a statement.

China has in the past accused the Dalai Lama of indulging in "separatist" activities and trying to split Tibet and considers him a divisive figure.

However, the Tibetan spiritual leader has insisted that he is not seeking independence but "genuine autonomy" for all Tibetans.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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