I feel like a Himachal citizen: Dalai Lama

December 17th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Dec 17 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Wednesday said he had been living in this hill station of Himachal Pradesh for so long that he feels “like a citizen” of the state.”I have spent most of my life in this hill station. Now I feel like a citizen of Himachal Pradesh,” the Dalai Lama said on his maiden visit to the state assembly complex here.

Since 2004, the winter session of the state assembly has been held in Dharamsala, while the summer session has been held in Shimla.

The Dalai Lama addressed Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as “my chief minister”.

“Sometimes this friend becomes the chief minister (pointing towards Virbhadra Singh) and sometimes this (Dhumal). Sometimes if one works, the other gets the chance to take rest and think…,” he said, referring to the two dominant parties (the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress) of the state.

“I am the third party… and the third party is the zero party,” the Dalai Lama said with a laugh.

“It’s the Dalai Lama’s first visit to the state assembly… (this) is historic,” said Tenzin Taklha, a senior aide to the spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following Chinese occupation of Tibet. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this Himachal Pradesh town and around 100,000 Tibetan exiles live in India.

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