Wary Tibetans Quietly Mark Dalai Lama’s Birthday

Thousands of Tibetans gathered in the southern Indian town of Bylakuppe on Saturday to mark the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday. The exiled religious leader said that the 150,000-strong Tibetan diaspora represents “six million Tibetans [in China] who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel.” Indeed, celebrations within Tibet were muted amid uncertainty over reports of a relaxation in Chinese policy. From Reuters’ Sui-Lee Wee:

“We’ll celebrate his birthday at our homes privately but we’ll never do it in the open,” said Khedroob, 40, a monk at the Kumbum monastery.

“But we don’t have to wait for a special day to celebrate, we celebrate him everyday.”

Khedroob said he had received a text message on his mobile phone that authorities in Qinghai have discussed allowing Tibetans to display images of the Dalai Lama, but added he didn’t know whether to believe it.

[…] Ultimately, it does not matter whether Tibetans are allowed to display photos of the Dalai Lama, Pema Rinchen, the abbot of Guangfa monastery in Sichuan province, said by telephone.

“Because in our hearts, we worship him, and that’s enough.” [Source]


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