Dalai Lama celebrates 86th birthday with a message of non-violence, compassion

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 – The 14th Dalai Lama, known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people, celebrated his 86th birthday today.

In a 4-minute birthday message today, Tibet’s celebrated highest spiritual leader thanked the people for the love and genuine friendship offered to him and also called on them to value the practice of non-violence and compassion in their lives. He said that he intended to retain his stance of non-violence and compassion till the end of his life.

He also said he remained committed to serving humanity and working to protect the climate.

He also commended India’s religious freedom and harmony.

“I really appreciate India’s concept of secular values, not dependent on religion, such as honesty, karuna (compassion) and ahimsa (non violence).”

Born on July 6, 1935, Dalai Lama established the independent Tibetan government in exile, the Central Tibetan Administration in April 1959 following his exile from Tibet. He currently resides in Dharamsala, India. He also retired as political head in 2011 to make way for a democratic government.

The Dalai Lama continues to call for the welfare of Tibetans and has repeatedly said that he wants a peaceful negotiation with China for the autonomy of Tibet and the protection of Tibetan culture, including their religious rights.

Among world leaders today, India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi is reported to have conveyed birthday greetings to the Dalai Lama via a phone call.

According to the Press Information Bureau of India, the Prime Minister said: “Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life.”