Prayers in Delhi for Dalai Lama's birthday

Last Updated: Tue, Jul 06, 2010 10:20 hrs

Mass prayers, sapling plantation and a cultural show were held in the capital Tuesday to mark the 75th birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

A group of over 500 Tibetans assembled at the Tibetan colony near Majnu Ka Tila in north Delhi in the morning and offered prayers for the Dalai Lama's long life. They unveiled a portrait of their spiritual guru.

The prayer meeting was followed by planting of 75 tree saplings. Pigeons were released in the sky as a symbol of peace. Students from a Tibetan school performed to mark the event.

'We prayed for his long life and autonomy for Tibet,' Choekyong Wangchuk, an MP of the Tibetan government-in-exile, told IANS.

Born July 6, 1935, to a farming family in a small hamlet in Taktser in Amdo province in northeastern Tibet, the two-year-old child, earlier named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, in 1937.

He fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala.

In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for Tibet. He got the US Congressional Gold Medal in October 2007, even in the face of protests by China.

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