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Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday marked in more Tibetan areas despite China’s ban

A Tibetan monk bows before a portrait of the Dalai Lama, Gansu province, June 21, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
A Tibetan monk bows before a portrait of the Dalai Lama, Gansu province, June 21, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun26, 2015) – Hundreds of Tibetans in more areas of Qinghai and Gansu provinces defied the Chinese government to mark the 80th Tibetan-calendar birthday of their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, on and around Jun 21 with prayer services in monasteries and incense-leave burning ceremonies, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jun 24. China had banned not only the holding of celebrations across the Tibetan Plateau but also all public gatherings, including annual religious festivals and community picnics, seen as being designed to mark the occasion in various ways.

The largest gathering apparently took place at the Jonang Chamda Monastery in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Prefecture of Qinghai Province where on Jun 23 more than a thousand Tibetans assembled to mark the occasion. The report said the monastery’s senior monk Khenchen Sherab Salje was also born in the same month and more than a thousand Tibetans gathered to honour the two.

A portrait of the Dalai Lama was reported to have been brought in and placed on a throne, with offerings being made before it. More than 500 monks of the monastery then began a three-day prayer service for the Dalai Lama’s long life.

Earlier, on Jun 21, monks of Khagya Toe Monastery in Kanlho (Gannan) prefecture of Gansu Province had also displayed a portrait of the Dalai Lama, which is banned by China, and stood in two lines to offer prayers, holding incense sticks and ceremonial scarves in their hands. A large number of captive birds were freed for the occasion.

The report also said that over Jun 21-22, Tibetans in the same area staged plays on Tibet’s eighth century emperor Trisong Detsen, who had briefly captured the Tang Dynasty Chinese capital Changan (Xian in eastern China today), as well as on Tibet’s epic hero Gesar of Ling.

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