(TibetanReview.net, Jul14, 2015) – Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama; Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives and currently the House Minority Leader, and Hollywood star Richard Gere were among the people who spoke passionately about their support for Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and his cause, and their personal admiration for him during a long-life ceremony for him held in New York City on Jul 10. The event saw a gathering of more than 15,000 people in the Javits Convention Centre and was part of grand celebrations in several countries and many cities marking the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.
Ms Jarrett said she had come on behalf of President Obama “to convey the warmth of the American people to His Holiness”. She said very few other people had made such positive contribution to humanity as His Holiness had with his unwavering message of compassion. “We celebrate today an extraordinary leader, a good man, a man with amazing grace. I wish you health and vigour to live to 120.”
Ms Pelosi said there was no better way to stand with His Holiness on his 80th birthday than to stand with the Tibetan people.
The head of the exile Tibetan administration at Dharamshala, India, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Mr Penpa Tsering, also spoke.
Earlier in the day, asthe Dalai Lama drove down alongside the Hudson River to the Javits Convention Center for conferring a White Tara long-life empowerment, following the previous day’s religious teaching, a light aircraft flew in the clear blue sky overhead, trailing a banner wishing him a long life. After the empowerment ceremony, monks of the Dalai Lama’s Namgyal Monastery conducted the Long-Life Offering on behalf of the North American Tibetan Association and the Himalayan Buddhist, Mongolian and Russian communities.
The afternoon was devoted to birthday celebrations and festivities during which the speeches were made.