Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wishes Dalai Lama A Happy 88th Birthday

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New Delhi, 6th July 2023: On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 88th birthday. PM Modi conveyed his heartfelt wishes to His Holiness @DalaiLama during a phone conversation, expressing hopes for his long and healthy life.

The celebrations for the Dalai Lama’s 88th birthday took place at his hillside Indian headquarters in Dharamsala, attracting hundreds of supporters and exiled Tibetans. As the Tibetan spiritual leader arrived in his open mobile van, traditional welcome tunes filled the air. The courtyard of the Tsuglakhang Temple, adorned with Tibetan and Buddhist flags and portraits, served as the venue for the festivities.

Sporting a smile, the Dalai Lama jokingly remarked, “We are celebrating my 88th birthday, but look at me—I appear barely 50.” Since escaping from Tibet after an unsuccessful uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, he has established Dharmsala as his headquarters. While India recognizes Tibet as a part of China, it also hosts Tibetan exiles.

Although the Dalai Lama denies being a separatist, he advocates for significant autonomy and the preservation of Tibet’s native Buddhist culture.

In April, the Dalai Lama faced significant criticism following the circulation of an online video in which he kissed a young boy on the lips and made inappropriate remarks. This footage sparked an online backlash, with social media users condemning his behaviour. Later, the Dalai Lama issued an apology through a statement on his official website. Expressing regret for the incident, he extended his apologies to the boy, his family, and his numerous friends worldwide for any hurt caused by his words.