Modi called up Dalai Lama on birthday, sends a message to Beijing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday called up  the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of seven million Tibetans, on his 87th birthday, wishing him a long and healthy life, disregarding any potential disapproval from China, NDTV said

Jul 07, 2021
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Modi - Dalai Lama

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday called up  the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of seven million Tibetans, on his 87th birthday, wishing him a long and healthy life, disregarding any potential disapproval from China, NDTV said.  Last year, Modi did not wish the Dalai Lama in public after the faceoff with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley in Ladakh. China does not accept the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile in India and frowns on any engagement with him.

"Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life," tweeted Modi.

Taking note of the prime minister's tweet, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi MP,  urged Modi to send a message to China by meeting the Dalai Lama.

"Very good, sir! But it would have sent a strong message to China had you met HH Dalai Lama in person," tweeted Owaisi.

Prime Minister Modi had sent a private birthday greeting to the Dalai Lama in 2019.

In 2018, India and China had agreed not to air differences between the two governments in public, but that changed after last year's border clashes. 

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla also wished the Dalai Lama prominently. 

Officials in Dharamshala, headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile, said Modi spoke to the Dalai Lama for almost 20 minutes on Tuesday morning and "His Holiness was delighted to receive the call".

US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry also took to Twitter to greet the Tibetan spiritual leader on his birthday. He said that “peace and freedom cannot be ensured as long as fundamental human rights are violated. The envoy’s tweet followed another tweet by US Acting Ambassador in India Atul Keshap, who said the Dalai Lama's messages of peace and compassion inspire and transcend globally.

Several chief ministers of India, a country in which he is highly venerated and which is home to over 100,000 Tibetans, also greeted the Dalai Lama. 
In exile now for 62 years, the 14th Dalai Lama has been a symbol of struggle for the Tibetan people to the entire world, said the Hindustan Times. (SAM)

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