On Dalai Lama’s birthday, prayers for his long life

July 6th, 2011 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, July 6 (IANS) Morning prayers for the well-being and long life of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, began in this Himachal Pradesh town to mark his 76th birthday Tuesday.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is not present here and will attend celebrations in Washington.

Large crowds began to assemble in the morning at the Tsuglagkhang temple, close to the official palace of the Dalai Lama at McLeodganj, to join in the celebrations.

“Special prayer sessions began at Tsuglagkhang temple and it would continue throughout the day,” Thubten Samphel, a spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration, told IANS.

“His Holiness will bless his followers in Washington,” he added.

The Tibetan cabinet, the Kashag, expressed gratitude to the spiritual leader for remaining with them to dispel the suffering of all human beings and especially to guide Tibetans as long as possible, it said in a statement.

“On this extraordinary day, the Kashag would wish to gratefully thank and remember the visionary steps that His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, took in the democratisation of the Tibetan polity and devolving all his powers to the elected Tibetan leadership, which will represent the six million Tibetans living in and outside Tibet,” the statement added.

The prayers to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday have been organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and the Tibetan community. A large number of foreigners and well wishers also gathered here to attend the celebrations.

Born 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 the 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. Since fleeing 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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