His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet to grace 1959 event-from home to freedom. Photo: CTA/DIIR

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Dharamshala, India — In March of this year, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, will grace an event "Remembering March 17, 1959- FROM HOME TO EXILE", in Dharamshala, India, announced the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

The historical event is scheduled to take place on March 2018 at the main Tibetan temple in McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh,India with his presence. The CTA has said: "All the public in and around Dharamshala is welcome to attend the event, which will begin at 9 am on Saturday, March 17, 2018."

"Freedom is not just the absence of oppression, but also the presence of purpose, clarity in vision and mission to achieving the purpose. The inspiring life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a living testament to that," the CTA said, praising his message of peace, nonviolence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion.

The CTA is "marking a special event on March 17 this year at the Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamsala to remember March 17, 1959, the day His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Tibet to escape into exile, India," it said in statement, adding that "His Holiness the Dalai Lama has graciously consented to grace the event."

The statement said: "His Holiness the Dalai Lama is today not only the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people but is a global icon of peace and a beacon of hope for millions around the world. This is possible because His Holiness has lived in exile, in freedom for the last 60 years."

"His Holiness made the most important and biggest decision in his at the age of 24, at a time when His Holiness straddled between the fear of occupation and hope of escaping into exile. On March 17, 1959, in the dead of the night under dramatic circumstances, His Holiness stepped out of Norbulingka, his summer palace, masquerading as a soldier and embarked on a dangerous journey, crossing the Himalayas on foot with a retinue of soldiers and cabinet members," it said, referring His Holiness' escape into freedom, when also ten thousands of Tibetans escaped into exile. His Holiness entered India on March 31, 1959 and later settled in Dharamshala in April 1960 where he established the CTA.

"His Holiness said in his biography that when he first stepped on the Indian soil on March 31, 1959, there he experience ‘freedom.’ It was in exile that he found freedom, led freedom and the quest for freedom has set the foundations for the CTA," the statement said.

"60 years later, on March 17, 2018 the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is marking a special event to remember March 17, 1959, the story that remains today the most poignant, moving and powerful story of the 20th century and the 21st century stands to benefit from it," it added.

"With its long history and spiritual heritage, the CTA and its people survived six decades in exile as the most successful refugee community in the world. This was achieved under the leader of the Dalai Lama and his vision for a democratic Tibetan polity through its unique system of carrying out administrative responsibilities democratically but endowed with Buddhist spiritual values as core components," .

With the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and under the leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetan people across India are observing the year 2018 with a series of Pan-India events spanning 12 months to publicly express gratitude to the Government and people of India. Tibetan will thank India for ensuring the success of the efforts of Tibetan people: promoting its rich ancient culture and unique identity, assuring the viability and sustainability of Tibetan leadership and Tibetan communities, and leading the Tibetan struggle for freedom and justice through steadfast commitment to non-violence and dialogue.