Hundreds Gathered at Tsuklakhang to celebrate Dalai Lama’s 89th Birthday

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 6 July: Hundreds of Tibetans gathered today at the Tsuklakhang courtyard as the Central Tibetan Administration celebrated the 89th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Prem Singh Tamang, the Chief Minister of Sikkim, was the chief guest, and several other special guests including Member of Lok Sabha Arunachal Pradesh Shri Tapir Gao; Speaker of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly Mingma Norbu Sherpa; and Bhutila Karpoche, Deputy Speaker of the Ontario State Parliament, were also present at the celebration.

Following the cake-cutting ceremony, the CTA’s president, Penpa Tsering, as well as the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, presented mementoes—a thangka and a Buddha statue—to the Chief Guest, special guests, and other attendees. Several civil service staff members of CTA were also honoured with certificates of appreciation for their dedicated service.

Tenzin Norzin and Tenzin Tsedup Lodoe of V-Tag Australia and America respectively took the stage, voicing the continuation of the Tibetan Freedom struggle and the aspirations of new generations.

Penpa Tsering, while reading the statement of the Kashang, announced that “beginning July 2025, the Kashang will commence a diverse series of year-long events celebrating this milestone as the ‘Year of Compassion’” as the Dalai Lama turns 90 next year according to the modern calendar. “As a precursor to this significant event, the Kashang will briefly introduce the four principal lifelong commitments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in four separate official events throughout this year,” highlighting that “the best way to please your Lama is to put into practice their words of advice.”

The President also spoke about the significance of the recent passage of the Resolve Tibet Act in the US Congress and Senate, awaiting the US President’s signature for the bill to become law. He said it’s only a matter of time before Biden signs it. “In all, the unprecedented support for the Tibetan people’s struggle for justice has lent solid backing to the will of the Tibetan people to one day freely preserve and protect our religion, culture, language, way of life, and environment.” Efforts towards similar policy adoption in other free democratic nations are in progress, he said, urging “every Tibetan and Tibet supporter everywhere in the world to join in this common effort.”

Speeches delivered by the Chief Guest and other guests unanimously praised and highlighted the contributions the Dalai Lama has made through his teachings of love, compassion, and dialogue in the twenty-first century while wishing him a long life.

The Dalai Lama, through a video message recorded in New York, thanked everyone for celebrating his birthday with joy and festivity. “I am nearly 90 now but I don’t feel unhealthy except for slight discomfort in my legs,” he said. He is currently recovering and resting after a successful knee replacement surgery done in the US.

He said, “I would like to thank all Tibetans in and outside Tibet for your prayers on my birthday,” and urged everyone not to worry.

In the US, birthday wishes for the Dalai Lama are displayed for the entire day on billboards in Times Square, New York City. The initiative by Ngatso, an entrepreneur group, was funded through public donations.

The Dalai Lama is expected to leave New York to rest in a “place with a more open environment, pleasant weather, and serene landscape,” as announced by his personal doctor yesterday.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso was born Lhamo Dhondup on 6 July 1935 to a peasant family in Taktser village in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *