Mahatma’s grandson to attend Dalai Lama’s birthday bash

July 4th, 2011 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, July 4 (IANS) Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi and Martin Luther King III, son of late American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. are among the dignitaries scheduled to attend Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday celebrations in the US Wednesday, an official said.

“Arun Gandhi and Martin Luther King III will grace the occasion to mark the birthday of His Holiness in Washington on July 6,” Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama’s office, told IANS Monday.

He said the Nobel laureate Monday morning left on a 13-day visit to the US, where he will conduct the Kalachakra ceremony for world peace.

He said the spiritual guru will participate in birthday celebrations that include prayer meetings and a short discourse.

“Similar functions will also be held here (in Dharamsala),” he added.

Taklha said the Dalai Lama’s visit is totally religious and “there is no scheduled programme to meet US officials there”.

Born on July 6, 1935, at Taktser hamlet in northeastern Tibet, the Dalai Lama was recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso.

He fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile here that never won recognition from any country.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for democracy and freedom in his homeland. Ever since he fled to India, he has spent his time in exile pushing for autonomy for Tibet.

India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

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