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Dalai Lama turns 83, urges individual contribution to world peace
[Friday, July 06, 2018 19:56]
By Tenzin Dharpo

His Holiness the Dalai Lama cutting his birthday cake at Shiwatsel ground in Leh, Ladakh on July 6, 2018. photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor
His Holiness the Dalai Lama cutting his birthday cake at Shiwatsel ground in Leh, Ladakh on July 6, 2018. photo/OHHDL/Tenzin Choejor
DHARAMSHALA, July 6: Exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today celebrated his 83rd birthday in Ladakh with the Tibetan community and his Buddhist followers there.

The birth anniversary of the egalitarian Tibetan leader is a sought after day in the calendar of the Tibetan people who revere him as their paramount spiritual leader. A several thousand Tibetans, Ladakhi people and tourists gathered at the Shiwatsel ground in Leh to join in the celebrations. The people of the Sonamling Tibetan settlement offered their leader a gold and silver trophy as a token of gratitude, which was commissioned through donations from the Tibetan people there.

Around the world, from America to Europe, Tibetans and followers are celebrating the birth anniversary of their beloved leader.

Official celebrations at Tsuglakhang courtyard/July 6, 2018 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Official celebrations at Tsuglakhang courtyard/July 6, 2018 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
The Tibetan leader while addressing the crowd said that while it is an unachievable task to benefit all the beings in this world, he urged the people there to not underestimate the contribution for world peace on an individual level. “Although the contribution from a person is limited, if one can affect ten of his friends and that friend can further multiply it, then there can be a real change. The change for 7 million human beings can begin from one person,” the Tibetan leader said.

The octogenarian Tibetan leader also reiterated his four commitments to promote world peace, harmony among religious traditions, further the Tibetan issue and revive the Nalanda tradition in its native India.

While the mood of the festivities is one of joy and celebration, larger issues such as the health and longevity of the Dalai Lama has become a recurring political theme with China asserting legitimacy over his reincarnation. The Dalai Lama, the Central Tibetan Administration and the international communities have spoken against China’s politically motivated move to install its own Dalai Lama.

The health of the aging Tibetan leader is also a sensitive issue. A report by an Indian media house claiming the Dalai Lama being in an advanced stage of prostrate cancer recently was rubbished with prompt rejection from the Dalai Lama himself as well as his inner circle.

Consequently, both the Kashag (Cabinet) and the Tibetan parliament in exile in their statement for the Dalai Lama’s birthday included categorical rejection to the news piece. While the TPiE called the report “without any foundation of truth”, the Kashag referred to it as “speculation” and said that with respect to the health of the Dalai Lama, there is “no room for worry”.

In the exile Tibetan capital, the official celebrations of the Tibetan leader’s birthday was attended by local Tibetans, Indians and tourists. Chief Guest Shri Kishan Kapoor, Minister of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs; Special guest Shri Gopal Narayan Singh, MP, Rajya Sabha; Special guest Shri Janardhan Singh Sirgriwal, MP Lok Sabha graced the festivities with the presence. Also present were Ms Pema Yangchen, the Tibetan minister for Education, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, the Deputy speaker of the Tibetan parliament and other dignitaries.

Watch Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations in Leh, Ladakh, Video courtesy: Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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