(TibetanReview.net, Jul06’21) – It is possibly for the first time that an Indian prime minister has openly greeted His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his birthday. The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet has lived in India since 1959 and his 86th birthday fell on Jul 6.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings, offered on his official Twitter page @narendramodi, may be indicative of India being no longer concerned about China’s sensitivity over such a gesture given the enormity of the latter’s perfidy on the Ladakh border issue and where tension continues to simmer in a war-like situation.
“Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life,” Said Mr Modi in his greetings.
Others who tweeted their greetings to the Dalai Lama included Mr Atul Keshap, the recently-appointed Chargé d’Affaires of the US embassy in India, the US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen.
Many other Indian leaders also tweeted their greetings, including Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Minister of Earth Sciences; Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs; Mr Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi; and Mr Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.
In his remarks for the occasion, the Dalai Lama acknowledged the many greetings he had received. He reiterated his commitment to serve humanity and to work to protect the climate condition for the rest of his life.
Saying he had taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony since becoming a refugee in 1959, the Dalai Lama also vowed to work for the revival of the ancient knowledge of India in the field of secular values (not dependent on religion), such as honesty, karuna (compassion), and ahimsa (non-violence).
And he called on everyone to adhere to non-violence and compassion.
In his address at the official function, Sikyong (President) Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) called on China to recognize His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the key to resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict and earnestly invite him to Tibet and China on pilgrimage without any preconditions.
He “pledged to strengthen Tibetan unity by resolving the minor differences within the Tibetan community by engaging in constructive discussion.”
Notably absent from this year’s function was a statement from the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) and there was no member from it at the function. Nearly half the elected candidates – including all the elected candidates for the 10 religious seats and for the 10 Dotoe Province seats, to the 17th TPiE have refused to take their oath of office as prescribed by the Charter of Tibetans in exile.
Their impossible demand is that there be a new panel of justices at the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission of the CTA and a recognition of the blatantly illegal removal of the current panel by the previous TPiE. They have controverted the panel’s return to their posts after a hiatus of two months. As a result, the 17th TPiE still remains to be constituted.