The Dalai Lama Credit: Christopher Prentiss Michel

New Delhi: The United States of America thanked India for hosting the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama since 1959. The gratitude was shown when the entire world commemorated the 85th birthday of Dalai Lama on Monday.

The spiritual leader has been living in India since the time he fled Tibet after the Chinese aggression following an uprising by the Tibetans. The leader stays in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh every since his exile from Tibet. India now is home to over 1,60,000 Tibetans after China took over the country decades ago.

“Happy 85th birthday to His Holiness @DalaiLama, who has inspired the world through his peace & kindness, and as a symbol of the struggle for Tibetans and their heritage. We thank India for hosting His Holiness and Tibetans in freedom since 1959 & wish His Holiness happiness,” the US state department’s South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) bureau tweeted on Dalai Lama’s birthday.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi while conveying birthday wishes to the spiritual leader, said “The Dalai Lama is a messenger of hope, whose spiritual guidance has been a vital force to advance warm-heartedness and compassion, promote religious harmony, secure human rights and preserve the language and culture of the Tibetan people.”

“The aspirations of Dalai Lama and the Tibetan citizens remain incomplete due to oppressive China’s continuation of disgraceful campaign against Tibetans,” Pelosi added.

She reiterated that US has long spoken in defence of the Tibetans who were persecuted by Beijing and will continue to do so in the greater interest of the people who were at the receiving end of China’s oppression.

House of Democrats in January defended the rights of Tibetans to let them freely practice their religion, celebrate their culture and speak their own language by passing the Tibet Policy and Support Act. The Act made it clear that any attempts of interference by China in the process of recognising a successor or reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama will be a clear violation of the religious freedom offered to the Tibetans.

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