Thousands gather to celebrate His Holiness’ 83rd birthday in Dharamsala

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 spiritual leader, congregated for the official celebration of His Holiness’ 83rd birthday.

The official birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was attended by among others Shri Kishan Kapoor, Minister of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs as the Chief Guest, Shri Gopal Narayan Singh, MP, Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament) and Shri Hanardhan Singh Sirgriwal, MP 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).

CTA’s officiating President, Education Kalon (Cabinet Minister) Dr Pema Yangchen 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.

The Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament both 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.

Further, the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament also assured everyone that His Holiness is healthy and keeping very well and that there is no room for worry as an unfounded speculation about His Holiness the Dalai Lama being terminally ill went rife after an unverifiable news article published about it and caused concerns among Tibetans as well as his followers and well-wishers around the world.

Both the statements highlighted the innumerous 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 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 and Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts lighted up the spirit of the crowd of thousands gathered at the Tsug-lag-Khang courtyard.

The ceremony also included felicitation of civil servants in recognition of their 25 years of service for the CTA, book launches, conferment of research certificate to researchers and felicitation of distinctive CTA civil servants in recognition of their distinctive service for the CTA.

His Holiness took part in the celebration of his 83rd birthday at the Shiwatsel Phodrang complex in Leh, Ladakh which was also attended by the political head of the Tibetan people, Dr Lobsang Sangay along with thousands of Tibetans, Ladakhis and people from the Himalayan region and foreigners.

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