(TibetanReview.net, Jul08, 2014) –The Dalai Lama on Jul 6 thanked the many people from many regions of the world, including in the Ladakh region of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state where he was giving his 33rd Kalachakra teaching, as well as in other parts of India, Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan, and mainland China, who were praying for his well being on his 79th birthday. The exile Tibetans’ main official commemoration was held at the Tsuglakhang, Dharamshala, before a gathering of around five thousand people. The chief guest was Mr GS Bali, the minister of Transport, Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs of Himachal Pradesh state.
The chief guest conveyed greetings on the occasion from the state’s Chief Minister Mr Virbhadra Singh with a symbolic gesture of offering a bouquet of flowers to the head of the exile Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay. Bali expressed pride in the Dalai Lama’s choice of Himachal Pradesh as his second home and hoped he will never leave it for another residence in India. He also announced a personal donation of Rs 100,000 to the children of the local Tibetan Children’s Village school. Besides, he sanctioned Rs 30 million for repairing the road from Mcleod Ganj to downtown Dharamshala.
In Ladakh, state and local leaders greeted the Dalai Lama before a crowd of more than 100,000 people at Choglamsar, about 10 km from Leh, the venue of his Kalachakra teachings. They included Mr Rigzin Palbar of the Ladakh Hill Development Council and Jammu and Kashmir state’s Minister for Urban Development Mr Rigzin Jora. Local Muslim leaders Saif-ud-Din and Asharaf Ali said that all Ladakhis, not only the Buddhists, revered His Holiness and followed his advice. Hollywood star and Tibet activist Richard Gere was also among the people who greeted the Dalai Lama on the stage.
The Dalai Lama used the occasion also to reiterate his plea to Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to halt violence against Muslims.
Supporters of the Tibetan cause across the free world took part in events to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s birthday. In Paris, the Tibet Group in the French Senate joined the Bureau du Tibet on Jul 5 to hold a reception for around 80 persons representing Tibet support groups as well as individuals, including members of the Senate. The Group’s President, Mr Jean-Francois Humbert, said support for the just case of Tibet transcended political affiliations and will continue in future. Senator Andre Gattolin, Senator Jean-Claude Frecon and former Senator and Deputy in the French National Assembly Mr Louis de Broissia were among the others who attended the reception which was held in the Senate chamber.