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Kerry greets Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday


Washington: US Secretary of State John Kerry today greeted the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 80th birthday, saying people of diverse faith and non-faith traditions around the world are inspired by his messages of peace, compassion and non-violence.

“People of diverse faith and non-faith traditions around the world are inspired by his messages of peace, compassion, and non-violence,” Kerry said.

“I have always appreciated His Holiness’ humour, wisdom, and humility, as well as his dedication to his people and to humanity. I wish His Holiness the very best on this auspicious occasion,” he said.

The Tibetan community in the US has planned a grand birthday celebration on his 80th birthday later this month.

Senior US officials, members of Congress and prominent religious and civic leaders are expected to attend a public reception on July 19 in New York.

In honour of his 80th birthday and in the presence of the Dalia Lama, Buddhist monks will chant prayers, participants will dress in traditional regalia and vendors will offer statues of Buddha, religious scroll paintings called thangka, incense and other religious artifacts.

The Buddhist ritual, Tenshug in Tibetan, is a long-life offering and a moving ceremony comprising prayers and a procession of symbolic offerings. The purpose of this prayer is to ask for a long and healthy life for His Holiness and to preserve his Buddhist teachings.

“In many ways, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has profoundly touched not only the lives of the Tibetan people, but also countless others throughout the world,” said Tashi Namgyal, North American Representative to the Tibetan Parliament and co-chair of the Gratitude Events Organising Committee.

“This birthday celebration honours the Tibetan leader for the wisdom and spiritual guidance he has provided to both Buddhists and non-Buddhist; and for his unwavering efforts to alleviate the sufferings of all sentient beings,” Tashi said.

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