Washington: The Dalai Lama’s kindness and humility serve as an inspiration to many around the world, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday as he greeted the India-based Tibetan spiritual leader on his 88th birthday.
Blinken also said the United States is unwavering in its commitment to support the linguistic, cultural, and religious identity of Tibetans, including the ability to freely choose and venerate their religious leaders without interference.“I extend my warmest wishes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 88th birthday, an auspicious day for the Tibetan community,” he said.
“His Holiness’s kindness and humility serve as an inspiration to many around the world, and I have deep admiration for his ongoing commitment to peace and nonviolence,” Blinken said in a statement.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet. India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.
“Today, may we reflect on his messages of compassion and tolerance as we reaffirm our commitment to upholding the human rights of all people, including those of the Tibetan community,” the top US diplomat said in a statement.
China has in the past accused the Dalai Lama of indulging in “separatist” activities and trying to split Tibet and considers him a divisive figure.
However, the Tibetan spiritual leader has insisted that he is not seeking independence but “genuine autonomy” for all Tibetans.