Thousands gather to celebrate His Holiness’ 82nd birthday in Dharamsala
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 6: The courtyard of Tsug-lag-khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala where the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides, was filled with an air of exultation as thousands of Tibetans as well as foreigners and Indian followers of the Tibetan leader congregated for the official celebration of His Holiness’ 82nd birthday.
The official birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was attended by among others Shri Kishan Kapoor, Former Minister of State for Industries and Transport Himachal as the Chief Guest, Shri Ninong Ering, Member of Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) as the Special Guest along with the representatives of the three pillars of Tibetan democracy as well as members of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and officials of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).
Officiating Sikyong, Finance Kalon (Cabinet Minister) Karma Yeshi and Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok delivered the official statements of the Kashag (the Tibetan cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament respectively.
The Kashag reiterated its commitment to the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach as its stand to resolve the long-standing issue of Tibet and declared that it does not endorse the complete independence stand.
Both the statements highlighted the innumerous contributions and magnanimous endeavors of His Holiness for the Tibetan people and the world at large. They expressed the Tibetan people’s profound gratitude towards His Holiness and urged Tibetans to adhere to His Holiness’ concern over degeneration of Tibetan cultural values, preserve unity among Tibetans and move forward with confidence and in accordance with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Both the Officiating Sikyong and Deputy Speaker also expressed their gratitude to the government and the people of India on behalf of the Tibetan people for their unwavering support and hospitality for more than fifty-eight years in exile and all the friends of Tibet and freedom loving people across the globe who support the cause of Tibet. Expressing their deep loyalty and devotion to His Holiness, they prayed for all his wishes to be fulfilled and the non-violent cause of Tibet to prevail.
Cultural performances by students of Tibetan schools located in and around Dharamsala, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and dance troupes representing the three provinces of the Tibet lighted up the spirit of the crowd of thousands gathered at the Tsug-lag-khang courtyard.
The ceremony also included felicitation of two civil servants in recognition of their distinctive service for the Central Tibetan Administration by the officiating Sikyong Finance Kalon Karma Yeshi, book launches and release of academic video tutorial for students.
The Chief Guest, Shri Kishan Kapoor released a Department of Education’s three science video teachings for IIIrd to Vth standard students stored in Pen Drive, a project funded by Norwegian Church Aid.
Chief Justice Commissioner of Tibet launched a book titled ‘Dalai Lama on Environment’ compiled by Environment Development Desk while the Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also released a book titled ‘Tibet’s Past, Present and Future’ and a pictorial book ‘Glimpse on the History of Tibet’ published by China Desk of Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR).
His Holiness took part in the celebration of his 82nd birthday at the Shiwatsel Phodrang complex in Leh, Ladakh where he was also offered a long life prayer service. Thousands of Tibetans, Ladakhis and people from the Himalayan region and foreigners attended the event.