DHARAMSALA, Jul 7: Thousands of Tibetans as well as Indian and foreign followers of the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gathered at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala on Jul 6 to join the official celebration of the Tibetan leader’s 80th birthday.
Divisional Commissioner of Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh Mr Pushpendra Rajput was the Guest of Honor at the event which was attended by among others, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the political head of the Tibetan people, Mr Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Kargyu Dhondup, Chief Justice Commissioner, the Tibetan cabinet ministers, Members of the Tibetan parliament and senior officials of the Central Tibetan Administration.
Sikyong Sangay and Speaker Penpa Tsering delivered the official statements of the Kashag (the Tibetan cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile respectively.
Both made references to the great many contributions and noble deeds done by His Holiness for the Tibetan people and the world at large. They expressed the Tibetan people’s deep gratitude for His Holiness who has made tireless efforts to fulfill his three commitments, promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony and increased awareness and preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist culture which has won the hearts of millions of people across the world and kept the issue of Tibet from passing into oblivion.
While urging Tibetans to engage in acts that are consistent with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and endeavor in preserving, promoting and acting upon traditional Tibetan values, Sikyong Sangay in his statement called the allegations leveled against His Holiness by Dolgyal followers baseless.
“Regardless of the baseless accusations made by the Dholgyal cult, Tibetan unity and harmony under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has never been greater. It is comparable only to Tibet under the reign of the three great dharma kings, more than a thousand years ago,” Sikyong Sangay stated.
Delivering the statement of Tibetan Parliament, Speaker Penpa Tsering stressed that the Chinese government should change its hardline policy and expressed hope that a positive transformation beneficial to both Tibet and China will occur.
“We take this opportunity to reiterate our position that the leadership of the Government of China should change its hardline policy towards Tibet and the Tibetan people with the hope that a positive transformation, which is beneficial to both Tibet and China based on the actual situation in Tibet and the aspirations of the Tibetan people will occur,” Speaker Tsering said.
Both the leaders expressed gratitude to the government and the people of India for their unwavering support for the past more than fifty years.
Cultural performances were also presented on the occasion by Tibetans as well as local residents and the celebrations concluded with a public lunch jointly sponsored by a group of associations falling under the Dharamsala Tibetan Settlement Office.
Later in the evening, a concert with the theme, ‘Today in Exile, Tomorrow in Tibet’ was held at the Tibetan Institute of performing Arts where a host of artists, including the local Tibetan rock band JJI Exile Brothers and Delhi-based North-East band Red Light Passengers performed to a packed hall.
The concert was organized by the Dharamsala chapter of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).