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khandu-Arunachal-Pradesh-IndiaDharamshala — His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sikyong or the political leader of Tibetans and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in-Exile congratulated Mr Pema Khandu, newly elected Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

"I am confident that under your leadership Arunachal Pradesh will continue to make progress in prosperity and development, particularly by improving the lives of the poor and needy in your state," His Holiness said in a letter of congratulations to Mrs Khandu.

"I am sure it would be a source of pride to your late father that, following in his footsteps, you too have now been elected Chief Minister of the State," His Holiness added. His Holiness concluded by wishing the new Chief Minister every success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead and in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of the Indian state.

At a press conference held in Dharamshala on July 18, regarding the annual task force meeting the Sikyong took this opportunity to express his exultation over this achievement of Mr Khandu. He said, "I also want to congratulate my good friend Pema Khandu for being elected as the youngest chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. His late father was a devoted Buddhist and a follower of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Pema Khandu himself is no less."

Dr Sangay also remarked on his relationship with the current CM of Arunachal Pradesh. "I've invited him to Dharamshala on several occasions and he has always come and graced the occasion and I've also visited Arunachal Pradesh with his support and friendship so I'm very happy that he is elected as the chief minister of a very important state- Arunachal Pradesh of India", he said.

"As you are aware, Tibetans share a special bond of language, culture, art and religion with Arunachal Pradesh. The government and people of Arunachal Pradesh had shown support and solidarity to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans when they were passing through Tawang and other areas to exile in India after the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. The successive governments of Arunachal Pradesh have been equally supportive and generous to the Tibetan people throughout these years."

Finally, the Sikyong sent all his good wishes to Mr Khandu for this very important responsibility saying that, "So hearty congratulations to him and his team I hope you have a very successful tenure and bring development and progress in the beautiful state of Arunachal Pradesh."

The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also congratulated Mr Khandu on assuming the office of the Chief Minister of the Indian state. "The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, on behalf of all the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, sincerely congratulate you for being unanimously elected as the new Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh," Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile wrote in his congratulatory letter.

"Your late father, Former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Hon'ble Dorjee Khandu was very dedicated towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He was even a close friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama."

"We, the Tibetans are very thankful and grateful for both of your strong support towards our Tibet cause and especially towards Tibetans living in your state. We hope you will continue your support under your leadership. We wish you success in your future endeavours."

Mr Khandu, son of late chief minister Dorjee Khandu, was sworn in as the ninth chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday at the Rajbhavan, Itanagar. On the 17th of July, Pema Khandu a congressman from Tawang district was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Taking after his father in becoming Chief Minister, the 37-year-old has become the youngest chief minister in the country.

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