Dalai Lama celebrates 83rd birthday; China restricts celebrations in Tibet

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 06, 2018, 01.44 PM(IST)

Dalai Celebrates his 83rd birthday in Ladakh. Photograph:( AFP )

Tibetans on Friday celebrated the 83rd birthday of their spiritual leader, Dalai Lama with the series of events and prayers.

Dalai Lama arrived late Thursday in Ladakh for his birthday celebrations which took place in Shewastsel Phodrang complex on the outskirts of Leh with the large crowd.

Surrounded by his followers the Dalai Lama celebrated his birthday by cutting a cake 

Media reports quoted the spokesperson of 14th Lama saying, "This time again his holiness decided to celebrate his birthday with the people of Leh."

During the celebration Dalai Lama expressed his joy to be in Ladakh once more. He also informed people about extending his stay till July.

"I am very happy to be here once more. I seem to be physically fit and if that continues I hope to spend some time here, avoiding the monsoon on the plains," he said. 

"You people of Ladakh have a special bond with me based on your faith and loving-kindness, of which I am very appreciative," Dalai Lama added. 

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities placed restrictions on celebrations of Lama's birthday inside Tibet.

As per reports, few days before his birthday, Tibetans in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture were warned against celebration by Beijing.

According to the reports by local media, three people were also detained by Chinese police for carrying out activities related to the birthday celebration.

A lot of Tibetan leaders condemned the restrictions and termed it as "human rights violation" and urged Beijing to allow the small minority to celebrate the birthday of their leader.

Dalai Lama's birthday is a prominent day for Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile. Its celebration is identified as a form of resistance by China in occupied Tibet.

The 14th Dalai Lama is one of the longest-serving lamas of the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism.

More than five decades after he fled into exile in India following a failed uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama still exerts considerable religious authority over many of the six million ethnic Tibetans living within China's borders.

The Dalai Lama denies to support violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama has been conferred the Noble Peace Prize, the Templeton Prize and many honorary degrees and other awards.