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2ndseptember2011-dummalDharamshala: - Describing the 51st Tibetan Democracy Day as a moment of great significance in Tibet's history, the government and people of Himachal Pradesh congratulated Tibetans for reaching this milestone and reassured their continuous support to the Tibetan cause.

"I am honoured to be here at the democracy day of Tibetans in exile and extend our heartiest felicitations," Chief Minister Prof Kumar Dhumal said in his address to hundreds of jubilant Tibetans on the occasion.

Praising democracy as the most cherished form of governance, Prof Dhumal said the stature of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a world spiritual leader and the secular administration of the Central Tibetan Administration would be strengthened as a result of the devolution process."

"The young and dynamic leadership of Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay would fulfil the long-cherished aspiration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," he said.

"The government and people of Himachal Pradesh extend our heartiest congratulations to the new leadership and we reaffirm our support," he said, adding "We will always stand by you."

Recalling his meeting with His Holiness at a breakfast reception hosted by the Central Tibetan Administration last year, Prof Dhumal said he felt greatly honoured and grateful as His Holiness described him as "our chief minister".

"His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a symbol of peace for which he has also been conferred the Nobel Peace Prize," he said.

"The people of the state are proud of having His Holiness the Dalai Lama with them in Dharamsala which has turned into an international spiritual destination for the Buddhist devotees," he said.

The chief minister also spoke about the glaciers of the Himalayas which are melting at an alarming rate due to climate change. He said he will give his full efforts to safeguard the ecological balance of the Himalayas and added that he hopes the new Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay will do the same.

Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay in his address, gave a brief detail about the developments of Tibetan democracy over the years. He said that the Tibetans in Tibet are still living under a brutal regime without any democratic rights.

The chief minister honoured this year's +2 All India Board Exam toppers with Gaden Phodrang Student's Award, which is conferred by the Education Department of the Central Tibetan Administration. The recipients are Tenzin Tsering of TCV Selakui with 90.6% in Science, Rinchen Sangmo of THF Mussoorie with 92.8% in Arts and and Tenzin Choezom, TCV Bylakuppe with 89.2% in Commerce streams.

Other Indian dignitaries present on the occasion include cabinet colleagues of the chief minister and Lok Sabha MP Mrs Chandresh Kumari.

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