rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday in Washington

Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday in Washington

Last updated on: July 7, 2011 17:19 IST

Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday

     Next

Next

Thousands of people, including Tibetans, assembled in Washington to celebrate the 76th birthday of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who also inaugurated the 11-day Kalachkra ceremony for World Peace.

Tibetan monks folded their hands with reverence and others broke into an impromptu song of "Happy Birthday to You" as the Dalai Lama arrived on stage.

"Non-violence is not just absence of violence. One must have a sense of compassion," the Dalai Lama told the large gathering in downtown Washington.

The best birthday gift for him would be if people followed non-violence, said the Dalai Lama. "The best gift for me is if you practice compassion," he said.


Image: The Dalai Lama greets the faithful at a Kalachakra for World Peace in Washington
Photographs: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
     Next

Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Rich, poor, believer, non-believer -- no difference. We are all the same," said the Noble Peace Prize winner.

The Dalai Lama was joined by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King III, son of Martin Luther King Jr. The Tibetan spiritual leader hailed them as apostles of peace.

"I have never met Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr., but I have always admired their contribution," he said.


Image: The Dalai Lama greets the faithful at a Kalachakra for World Peace in Washington
Photographs: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Prev     Next

Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Speaking on the occasion, Arun Gandhi called to work towards ending both "physical" and "non-physical" violence.

"I invite all of you to pledge today as a birthday gift to his holiness that we will no longer hate, that we will no longer discriminate, we will no longer be greedy and that we will always respect each other irrespective of religion or philosophical outlook," he said.

Addressing the gathering through a video message, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa praised Dalai Lama's efforts, saying that spreading justice and peace is "an enormous task."


Image: The Dalai Lama greets the faithful at a Kalachakra for World Peace in Washington
Photographs: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Prev     Next

Dalai Lama celebrates 76th birthday

Prev     More
Prev

More

Meanwhile, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero met the Dalai Lama on Tuesday.

She discussed with him US's support for the preservation of Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity, and the protection of human rights in China.

"She also commended the Dalai Lama for his commitment to peace and nonviolence and the pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government," the State Department said.

During his stay in Washington, the Dalai Lama will meet top leaders of the US Congress.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will also meet him.


Image: Tibetan children are seen behind a curtain while celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday
Photographs: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters
Prev     More