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Tibet-Dalai-Lama-2015Dharamshala: - The Tibetan administration in exile said a 'grand long-life prayer ceremony will be held on behalf of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet to celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as an especial in next year.'

The Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in collaboration with the International Gelug Association and the Executive Committee of Dhomay is organising a grand long-life prayer ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2015.

Addressing a press conference on Monday (28 July), Dhondup Dorjee, Secretary of the Department of Religion and Culture said : "We will be organising a grand long life ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the momentous occasion of his 80th birthday in 2015 to express our gratitude and reverence to his remarkable contribution to the Tibetan cause and universal values."

"The three organising groups have initially requested to organise the long-life prayer ceremony individually. However, we are advised to organise the prayer ceremony in collaboration with each other, as the collective merit of prayers have more effect and value," he explained.

'A long-life prayer offering initially accepted by at an earlier request of the Executive Committee of Dhomay, Ven Tromthok Rinpoche, the abbot of Namgyal Monastery said, adding 'we must thank the committee for its great effort and preparation.'

'Representatives of the International Gelug Association, including all abbots and former abbots from 11 major Gelugpa monasteries led by Ganden Tri Rinpoche actually requested to organise a long-life prayer ceremony. However we are well advised to organise the prayer offering in collaboration with the Dhomay committee at our meeting with His Holiness during the annual Monlam festival teaching in Dharamshala last year,' Rinpoche told reporters.

Ven Tromthok Rinpoche said that "all important topics related the Long Life Prayer Offering will be raised and discussed at the upcoming International Gelug Association conference which will be held in September."

Dedicating 2014 as the year of His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama to celebrate his 79th birthday this year, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay has said 'under this year-long program, his administration will organize 21 major events, which include some 300 smaller activities.'

"Looking further ahead, the Kashag will mark His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday by the Tibetan calendar—the fifth day of the fifth Tibetan month, falling on the 21st of June 2015—with an elaborate long life offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama," the Sikyong added.

The grand long-life prayer ceremony is scheduled on 21 June 2015, the birthday of His Holiness according to the traditional Tibetan lunar calendar.

CTA has also announced earlier that it would observe 2014 as the "Year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama" to express deep gratitude to his remarkable achievements for the cause of Tibet and promote his ideals of non-violence, world peace, and universal human values.

At the birthday celebrations in 2013, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said the "best gift" he could receive from all was the "warmheartedness" in every individual.

Hollywood star Richard Gere to speak was met with cheers in Ladakh this month. "This is exordanary moment for all of us." He recalled that directly after his first meeting with His Holiness in Dharamshala 33 years ago he came to "Ladakh," which he described as "one of the most beautiful places on earth."

He described himself as humbled by the fact that he lived at the same time as His Holiness the Dalai lama, saying that not only to know him, but also to be able to listen to him was "extraordinarily fortunate and blessed. On behalf of the more than 4000 other foreigners in the audience Hollywood actor wished His Holiness a happy birthday."

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