File photo: Dalai Lama. Photograph:( AFP )
After Modi's tweet, several Indian state leaders also issued public greetings to the Dalai Lama, describing his values, teachings and way of life as an inspiration
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing him on his birthday.
Lama posted a video message in which he expressed his gratitude towards everyone wished him saying "Many of my friends expressed happy birthday. Here I want to take this opportunity to express to those people, my thanks."
"I want to thank my long time supporters and friends, and then many other people including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many ministers and also chief ministers and a number of my Indian friends," he added.
Dalai Lama who had to left Tibet after the Chinese occupation in the 1950s said, "They sincerely expressed their congratulations on my birthday. So I very much appreciate this friendly expression."
On Tuesday, in a departure from the past, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday. In a tweet from his handle, he said, "Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday" and "We wish him a long and healthy life."
Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 6, 2021
While in the past Indian PM Modi has been congratulating Dalai Lama on his birthday, but never an announcement has been made, largely due to Chinese sensitivities. The announcement is seen as a message to Beijing even as China continues with provocative behavior at the Line of actual control in Ladakh.
Other political leaders in India have also wished Dalai Lama on his birthday. These are Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, from the Indian Cabinet-- Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.