Dalai Lama thanks PM Narendra Modi for birthday wishes

New Delhi: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has thanked the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the birthday wishes. In a video message in which he thanked everyone who wished him, he said, “Many of my friends expressed happy birthday. Here I want to take this opportunity to express to those people, my thanks.”

Adding, “I want to thank my longtime supporters and friends, and then many others, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many ministers and also chief ministers and a number of my Indian friends.”

Dalai Lama who had to leave 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.” 

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.

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