Tibetans prepare to mark Dalai Lama’s B’day

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, May 15:

Tibetans around the world are offering prayers to the Dalai Lama as Tibet’s government-in-exile gears up for a birthday bash for the spiritual leader who turns 70 in July, officials say.

The Indian town of Dha-ramsala, where exiled Tib-etan government is based, is moving into high gear to host Buddhist religious leaders and A-list Hollywood celebrities set to attend the July 6 festivities.

“The Dalai Lama is reaching a glorious age, so we will commemorate the event in a grand manner in Dharamsala,” Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche said.

Thubten Samphel, secretary in Tibetan administration’s department of international affairs, said Tibetans around the world have started special prayers in the run-up to the birthday asking for the leader to live a long life.

Plans were still being finalised but celebrations would include a carnival of Tibetan culture such as dance performances as well as religious seminars. No guest list has been released for security reasons, officials said.

The Tibetan government called on Tibetans to offer prayers for the longevity of Dalai Lama and set up health clinics in parts of rural India to offer free treatment in the run-up to the spiritual leader’s birthday bash.