I feel like I am in my fifties, Dalai Lama says as he turns 88 

The Dalai Lam flanked by CTA President Penpa Tsering and Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel at the official celebration of his 88th birthday.

DHARAMSALA, 6 July: I feel like I am in my fifties, the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said reiterating his firm determination to live long at the official celebration of his 88th birthday here at the courtyard of Tsug-lag-Khang, the main temple in Mcleod Ganj. 

“I turn eighty-eight today, but when I look in the mirror, I feel like I am in my 50s,” I still got the full set of teeth intact,” the Dalai Lama said adding that he is ever more determined to commit himself to the service of the entire sentient being and to dispel the misery of the world.

The Dalai Lama, who attended the official celebration of his birthday after a long gap then told the congregation about his recurring dreams, indicating that he will live for over 110 years – drawing cheers and applause from the congregation. 

Though the octogenarian Tibetan leader has been exiled since he was 23 years old after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, he declared that he has nothing but “compassion” towards the Chinese Communist Party leaders and officials. 

Additionally, the Dalai Lama said in a pre-recorded video message that “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 Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu who attended the event as the Chief Guest in his address spoke about the deeply rooted relationship between the Tibetans and the local Indians from here. 

Extending his warm greetings to the Dalai Lama, he declared him as the embodiment of non-violence, compassion, and brotherhood and the champion of love peace and compassion. 

Vice-Chair of the Taiwanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet Hung Sun Han, who attended the event as the Special Guest extending his greetings to the Dalai Lama and thanked the Central Tibetan Administration for inviting him to Dharamsala. 

The lawmaker from Taiwan applauded the Dalai Lama for his role in advocating for the democracy and freedom of Tibet and the joy of humanity and the Tibetan’s resolve for non-violence even in the face of oppression from China.

CTA’s President, Penpa Tsering and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel delivered the official statements of the Kashag (the Tibetan cabinet) and the Tibetan Parliament respectively.

Both statements highlighted the numerous contributions and magnanimous endeavours of His Holiness for the Tibetan people and the world at large. They expressed the Tibetan people’s profound gratitude towards His Holiness and wished His Holiness the Dalai Lama healthy and long life on behalf of Tibetan people inside and outside.

The Tibetan leaders also expressed their gratitude to the government and the people of India on behalf of the Tibetan people for always rendering their utmost support for the just cause of Tibet and for tirelessly taking the responsibility of looking after the security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The social media platforms are abuzz with wishes and greetings as the Dalai Lama turned 88 from dignitaries around the world. 

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to wish the Tibetan spiritual leader a long and healthy life on his birthday.

“Spoke to His Holiness @DalaiLama and conveyed heartfelt greetings to him on his 88th birthday. Wishing him a long and healthy life,” the Prime Minister tweeted. 

Modi has been consecutively wishing the Dalai Lama since 2021.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, the Dalai Lama’s Trungkar(birthday) celebration was short-lived as the authorities backtracked on the permission, leading to an abrupt end. 

As Chinese influence in Nepal grew in recent years, so did the restrictions on the Tibetans living in the Himalayan country as well. Trungkar celebration in Nepal has been banned for the last couple of years.

The Dalai Lama took part in the official function to celebrate his birthday at Tsug-lag-Khang after an interval of 6 years. He last appeared at the official function during his 80th birthday.

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.

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