DHARAMSHALA: Despite severe restrictions, Tibetans inside Tibet have covertly celebrated the 79th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 6 July, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
“Tibetans in China observed the birthday of the Dalai Lama on the weekend by holding celebrations covertly in spite of new restrictions, including a cut-off in communications in some areas,” RFA reported.
Tibetans in Tsolho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (incorporated into China’s Qinghai Province) climbed on sacred mountains, hoisted prayer flags, burned incenses and held horse races to celebrate the occasion.
Whereas in Tawu county (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province), Tibetans marked the occasion by discreetly placing offerings before an image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to pay their obeisance.
A source speaking on condition of anonymity was quoted by RFA saying that “Tibetans cannot openly celebrate the birthday of the Dalai Lama, but engaging in any cheerful activity is the most viable way of covertly marking the occasion.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, currently conferring the 33rd Kalachakra initiations in Ladakh, celebrated his 79th birthday on 6 July. His birthday celebration was attended by over one lakh people including Tibetans, Ladakhis, foreign devotees and people of Himalayan regions.
“Today, here in Leh,” His Holiness has said on the occasion, “people of Ladakh, Tibetans and visitors from abroad are making prayers for my well-being. You are joined by many others who are not here, especially people in Tibet who have a special connection with me, many of whom are not allowed to express their faith and support; I greet all of you.
“In Mongolia, Russia and Taiwan, and even quietly in mainland China, I believe celebrations are taking place; I thank everyone taking part.”