Dharamshala — Thousands of people, including Tibetans and supporters gathered at the main Tibetan temple in Dharamshala, to celebrate the 81st birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Nobel Peace Prize lureate was not present in Dharamshala and attended celebrations in Mundgod in Karnataka State.
The event was attended by top officials, include justice commissioners, Kalons, Parliamentarians along with representatives of Tibetan NGOs. Other dignitaries include Mr Ajai Singh Mankotia, President of the Indo-Tibetan Friendship Association.
Justice Commissioner Mr Kargyu Dhondup opened launch of the Hindi version of Vijay Kranti's comic book 'Dalai Lama – Soldier of Peace'. Mr Kranti is a prominent Indian journalist and a long-time friend of Tibet.
Mr.Ajay Singh Mankotia appealed everyone to exert efforts towards making Dharamshala a truly spiritual destination which reflects the blessings and teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The official function also featured the launch of the Hindi version of the comic book 'Dalai Lama – Soldier of Peace' and a book on the life of former Tibetan political prisoner Lobsang Tenzin. Two distinguished staff and three civil servants who have served in the Tibetan administration for more than 25 years were also felicitated during the function.
The celebration further included cultural performances by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and by students of Tibetan schools. Local Indians also distributed sweets on the streets of Mcleod Ganj in celebration to mark the auspicious occasion.
The Taiwan Office of Tibet officially marked the 81st birthday of His Holiness The Dalai Lama with a great reception on Sunday at Zhongying building, the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Taiwan is known for celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday with great pomp and fanfare.
Nearly 600 people, comprising Tibetans as well as representatives and members of over 35 Tibetans and Chinese Buddhist dharma centers in Taiwan attended the birthday celebration
The official reception on His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 81st birthday was followed by the opening of a week-long photo exhibition titled "Glimpse of His Holiness the Dalai Lama" at the Taipei Film House. The documentary film, Sunrise, Sunset: Dalai Lama XIV, by Rassvet/Zakat, was also screened following the conclusion of the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition.
Further, thousands of people are expected to attend the 2016 Blessing Concert for His Holiness the Dalai Lama organized by the Gaden Shartse Center in Taipei on July 6, at the National Dr Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The Center will organize a similar concert in Kaoshiung city on 9 July.
In the Japanese capital-Tokyo, Japanese dignitaries, parliamentarians, Tibetans and guests gathered at Hotel Okura in Tokyo on Saturday to celebrate the 81st birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The celebration started with offering of mendel to the portrait of His Holiness by chief guest Mr Sonam Topgyal Khorlatsang Kalon for Department of Home, Central Tibetan Administration followed by a long life prayer offering by Tibetans in Japan.
Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for East Asia and Japan, Mr Lugtok welcomed the guests and highlighted briefly on how important is it to have such a leader like His Holiness who committed his whole life to serve and promote human values to make this world more peaceful and compassionate.
Chief guest Mr Sonam T Khorlatsang shared a brief biography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his three commitments. He also spoke on the tireless efforts made by His Holiness and the Tibetan people to restore their lost freedom while making sure the cultural values remain deep rooted in every heart and mind of the Tibetan people. He thanked them for their support and further delights them by sharing that His Holiness has accepted to live till 113 years.
Further Koichi Hiraoka, executive director of Seifu high school, raised a toss and the guests enjoyed the varieties of food and drinks while listening to the live performance by Tibetan singer Mr Tenzin Choegyal.
Earlier in the afternoon, chief guest Mr Sonam T Khorlatsang delivered a talk on status of Tibetan refugees in India and new arrivals from Tibet at Keisho Den hall in Gokokuji Temple in Tokyo. He also met with Tibetans who have gathered there for prayer congregation for His Holiness at the temple and advised them to stay united as Tibetans irrespective of numbers.
However, Nepalese authorities prevented Tibetans from celebrating their spiritual leader's birthday on Wednesday. Hundreds of riot police blocked the Tibetans from entering the Srongtsen Bhrikuti Boarding High School on the northern edge of Katmandu where the traditional celebrations were planned.
Sources said that only students wearing school uniforms were allowed inside the compound, while other Tibetans including many monks and nuns were stopped. Police detained several Tibetans who tried to hold a prayer meeting on the street. A brief scuffle broke out but no one was hurt. But authorities earlier said they would allow celebrations inside monasteries provided there are no banners or slogans against China.
Nepalese authorities claimed that Tibetan gatherings in generally turn into protests against China, with participants shouting slogans demanding an end to Chinese rule in their homeland.
Chinese authorities tightened restrictions on the Tibetan people this year in advance of His Holiness' birthday, posting warnings against celebrations of the politically sensitive event and blocking public gatherings that could be linked to it. However, there are also several reports that Tibetans within Tibet celebrated the happy occasion with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Born on 6 July 1935 to a peasant family in Takster village in the Amdo region of Tibet, His Holiness the great 14 Dalai Lama was recognised as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama when he was two years old. He was enthroned to the status when he turned five, was compelled to take over both the political and spiritual responsibility of Tibet at the tender age of sixteen and unfortunately led to his flight into exile in India at the age of twenty four due to Chinese illegal invasion of Tibet from 1949.