His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama congratulated Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu and the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on their respective parties’ victories in recent State Assembly elections.

In his letter to Shri Pema Khandu he wrote: “As you know, I very much appreciate your friendship, and the affection and warmth that the people of Arunachal Pradesh have shown me during my visits there. Last month marked the 60th anniversary of our life in exile. I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the State Government and people of Arunachal Pradesh for their friendship and kindness to the Tibetans settled there.”

Addressing Shri Naveen Patnaik he remarked: “Over the years, I have been able to visit Odisha quite regularly, and have enjoyed being able to meet and talk with you, as we did most recently in 2017. As you may know, there is a Tibetan Rehabilitation Settlement at Chandragiri in the District of Gajapati. May I, therefore, take this opportunity to express deep appreciation of the warm and friendly way Tibetans have been received there.”

He commended both the chief ministers on the progress in improving the lives of people in the recent years, in their respective states, especially of the under-privileged, which he described as wonderful. He wished both Shri Pema Khandu and Shri Naveen Patnaik success in meeting the challenges involved in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha respectively.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama also offered congratulations to Honourable Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister of Sikkim on his party’s success in the recent State Assembly elections. Tamang was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Sikkim on Monday. His party Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) won 17 of the 32 Assembly seats in the state elections.

In the congratulatory letter to Tamang, His Holiness wrote: “A great responsibility now lies ahead of you and I trust that under your leadership the people of Sikkim will see prosperity and progress. I particularly hope that you will strive to improve the lives of the less privileged people in the State.

“During my visits to Sikkim over the years, the people of Sikkim have shown me affection and warm hospitality, which I very much appreciated. The kindness and enthusiasm with which I have been received vividly reminded me of the strong emotions I felt during my first visit in 1956. I have been equally heartened by the enthusiasm and interest they have shown in how positive human values can help us deal with the challenges we face today.”

His Holiness acknowledged that last month marked the 60th anniversary of Tibetans’ life in exile. Noting that there is a sizable Tibetan community residing in Sikkim, he took the opportunity to express deep appreciation for the warm and friendly way in which Tibetans have been received. He concluded by wishing the Chief Minister every success in ensuring the well-being of the people of Sikkim.

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