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SHILLONG: The 81st birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was celebrated at the Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture here on Wednesday. Hundreds of people from the Tibetan community in Shillong among others took part in what was the “first public celebration of the spiritual leader’s birthday in the North East”.
The celebration was organised by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, an apex coordinating body of Tibet Support groups all over India, in collaboration with the Aurobindo Ashram and Asian Confluence.
On the occasion, Chief Adviser to the State Government, DD Lapang recollected his first meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama during the latter’s first visit to Shillong in 2014. “The Dalai Lama is an ocean of wisdom. He took up a dual role of a political leader as well as a religious figure for the Tibetans,” Lapang said.
“Brutal suppression by the Chinese Government put Tibet in danger and the Dalai Lama was forced to leave his own land. He was embraced by India and when he left Tibet, over 80,000 followers came with him to this country and are now living a peaceful life in Himachal Pradesh,” he added.
“He is globally respected and an asset to the world. His struggle for peace and freedom of the Tibetan people is recognized by the entire world and he even received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts,” Lapang added in praise of the Dalai Lama.
Former minister, Manas Chaudhuri observed that July 6, 2016 marked the confluence of three religious events– the celebration of the Rath Yatra, Eid-Ul-Fitre and the birthday celebrations of the Dalai Lama.
Chaudhuri also lauded the Dalai Lama’s effort in bringing the struggle of the Tibetan community to the world forum.
Special Guest, B.B. Dutta, president of Aurobindo Ashram, meanwhile, spoke on the dual role played by the Dalai Lama.
“Political and spiritual struggle are inseparable,” he said while highlighting on the theme the Dalai Lama’s 81st birthday, ‘Peace and Environment of Himalayan region’.
NPP MLA James Sangma extended sympathy to the cause of the Tibetan people. Observing that over 150 people resorted to self immolation for the cause, he said that their sacrifice will not go in vain. The programme highlighted the freedom struggle of the Tibetans by way of a photo exhibition on the life of the Dalai Lama.