Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama celebrates 86th birthday

Dharamsala, India (AP) — Tibetan spiritual guidance to celebrate Dalai Lama’s 86th birthday on Tuesday, thank his supporters, and thank India for living since he fled his hometown in 1959. Person.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all my friends who really showed me love, respect and trust,” the Dalai Lama said in a video message.

He repeated his mission to serve humanity and urged his supporters to be considerate.

“Since I became a refugee and now settled in India, I have made the most of India’s freedom and religious harmony,” he said.

He added that he has a great deal of respect for Indian secular values ​​such as “honesty, carna (compassion) and ahimsa (non-violence)”.

The Dalai Lama was headquartered in the hillside town of Darmsara after a failed rebellion against Chinese rule in 1959. China does not recognize the Tibetan government in exile and accuses the Dalai Lama of trying to separate Tibet from China.

The Dalai Lama denies being a separatist and states that it merely claims substantial autonomy and protection of Tibetan indigenous Buddhist culture.

On Tuesday, a small celebration was held in the Central Tibetan administration, mainly attended by government officials. The Dalai Lama’s video message was played on the projected screen, followed by a cultural performance by the Tibetan Performing Arts Institute.

The spiritual leader’s birthday is usually a rather elaborate event in the town and is open to the general public at the Tsugrakan Temple where the performance took place. From time to time, leaders will also appear.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic made the celebration modest and held in a closed room. However, a banner indicating his birthday was hung on the town square, and Tibetan monks handed out sweets and juice to passers-by outside the closed temple.

“It shows that many people really love me, and many really love my smile,” the Dalai Lama said with a smile at the beginning of the video. “Despite my old age, my face is very handsome,” he said with a laugh.

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