Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur calls on His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his residence, Dharamshala, February 1, 2018. Photo: OHHDL

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Dharamshala —“His Holiness gives us a message of humanity and compassion, spreading a message of peace throughout the country, inspiring not only Tibetans but all citizens of India, and I thank him on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh government,” said Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur of Himachal Pradesh on the occasion of the 87th birth anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on July 6, 2022.

The Central Tibetan Administration, Tibetans, and friends of Tibet celebrated the auspicious occasion of the 87th birth anniversary of His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama in Tsuglagkhang, Dharamshala, H.P, India, on July 6, 2022. This anniversary was also celebrated with great joy and gratitude all over the world by Tibetans and followers of Buddhism on July 6.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur virtually attended the celebration as chief guest, along with the staunch supporter of Tibet Richard Gere, Chairman of International Campaign for Tibet, and the 104th Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin attended the event as special guest and guest of honour, respectively.

The other guests of the official celebration include Jonang Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Shri Rakesh Pathania (Forest Minister of HP), Shri Vishal Nehria (MLA from Dharamshala), Gianni Vernetti (former Senator and Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affair, Italy), heads of the three democratic pillars of Central Tibetan Administration, Kalons, Tibetan Parliamentarians, heads of the autonomous bodies of CTA and Tibetan people.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur, the chief guest, addressed the gathering and expressed his thoughts on the occasion of His Holiness's birthday.

“Today is an auspicious day as it is the 87th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I would like to congratulate His Holiness and offer him my best wishes. By the grace of God, I hope he remains in good health and continues to lead us for a long time. I pray to God that he will continue to make an important contribution to humanity,” Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur said.

“I am glad that a short while ago when I spoke to His Holiness on the phone, he was very happy. When I wished him a happy birthday, he happily replied that he was honoured to have the chance to live in the divine state of Himachal Pradesh and expressed his gratitude to the Government of India and the State Government of Himachal Pradesh. He also requested me to meet him the next time I come to Dharamshala. I will try my best to meet His Holiness on my next visit to Dharamshala,” Chief Minister added.

“His Holiness gives us a message of humanity and compassion, spreading a message of peace throughout the country, inspiring not only Tibetans but all citizens of India, and I thank him on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh government,” he thanked.

“His Holiness arrived in India on March 31, 1959, from Tibet. He set out on foot from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and crossed the Himalayan mountains for over 15 days before entering India. After arriving in India, he dedicated his life to the Tibetan people, their help and their cause. Even today, he is sincerely committed to the work for the Tibetan cause and this is a matter of great joy for us. He has always adopted the path of non-violence and has inspired all those around him. He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his way of working and his flair for inspiring people, and that too is a matter of happiness for us. Dharamshala is an international tourist destination for us, welcoming tourists from all over the country and the world. But if Dharamshala has become an international tourist destination, it is because of the immense contribution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Chief Minister of HP mentioned.

“In today's programme, where you are all celebrating his birthday, I would have liked to be here with you in person, to meet you all and receive the blessings of His Holiness. This was not possible as the helicopter could not fly from Shimla to Dharamshala due to bad weather. That is why I am here virtually to express my thoughts and wishes. I just want to say that we all take inspiration from the life of Dalai Lama ji. We should all apply the guidelines of his life into our own and work together in the future. I ask you to follow and work in the direction of the path he has set for us. I also acknowledge the immense contribution of the Dalai Lama ji to the COVID-19 situation of our country and state. During the pandemic, he conveyed the message to take precautions. Also, when the vaccine was ready, he encouraged thousands and thousands of people to get vaccinated, as it is a necessary step to save lives from the virus,” he explained.

“I am also happy that the Tibetan community in Dharamshala and different parts of India respects the culture of India and in the same way we respect the culture of Tibet. When we respect each other's culture, it makes our relationship stronger and to make it stronger, we have to inspire future generations and integrate them into this culture and ritual. We will work together to strengthen this bond that has existed for years,” Shri Jai Ram Thakur said.

“I would just like to say that we should go forward together, be there for each other in joy and sorrow, and help each other every time. I spoke to His Holiness and he told me that the doctors examine him every week and tell him that he is in good physical health and that he can live for another 20 to 30 years. I pray to God that His Holiness will live for thousands of years. He will always be an inspiration to all of us and I hope his blessings will always be with us,” he added.

“The most important thing is that our feelings are expressed to each other. This programme is an attempt for our feelings and thoughts to reach each of you. Once again, I wish His Holiness the Dalai Lama a very happy birthday and to those of you who are gathered here for this programme, I congratulate you. Thank you very much,” Chief Minister Shri Jai Ram Thakur concluded.

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