Dalai Lama turns 84; calls for compassionate society, religious harmony

The Dalai Lama turned 84 on Saturday and called for creating compassionate society and religious harmony. The Tibetan spiritual leader said working for creating compassionate society and religious harmony is his best birthday gift. He said this during a live teleconfernce with his followers in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia from his residence here. If you truly love me than keep in your mind my three commitments. And whatever we say, where ever you live, try to create compassionate atmosphere, compassionate society, then religious harmony, he said. He asked them to tell more people about Tibetan knowledge, which comes from Nalanda. Releasing a statement on the occasion, the Tibetan parliament in exile thanked the Indian government and its people for extending assistance to the Tibetan people. For the past 60 years the government and people of India with whom Tibet had deep cultural ties since ancient times have been most generous in extending every possible assistance and facilities to the Tibetan people during this difficult time, it said. The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after a failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959. Since then, he is pushing for autonomy for Tibet. Thousands of Tibetans including monks, nuns, students and foreigners joined the birthday celebrations at the main Buddhist temple Tsuglagkhang here. Kishan Kapoor, Tibetan Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur extended warm greetings to the Dalai Lama, an official spokesperson said. The Chief Minister said the spiritual leader is an apostle of peace and struggle, who is known for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. The Dalai Lama is not only the leader of Tibetan people but humanity at large, he said. Thakur wished him a healthy and long life so that he could continue to guide the humanity for many more years to come. The Dalai Lama was born on July 6, 1935, at Taktser hamlet in north-eastern Tibet. He was recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for democracy and freedom in his homeland.