ITANAGAR, July 6 - The people of Arunachal Pradesh today celebrated the 84th birthday of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, with a series of events.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu attended the 84th birthday celebration of the 14th Dalai Lama at the Centre for Buddhist Culture, Gompa, here. Followers of the spiritual leader joined the celebration that culminated in a cake-cutting ceremony.
�Celebrated the 84th birthday of His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama this morning at the Centre for Buddhist Culture Gompa, Itanagar. Prayed for long life and good health of the �Walking Buddha�,� Khandu stated in a tweet.
The Chief Minister also took part in a tree plantation drive organised to mark the day, besides inaugurating a herbal medicine centre in the Gompa premises.
Arunachal West MP and Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (independent charge) Kiren Rijiju also offered his best wishes to the Dalai Lama on his birthday.
�On the auspicious birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama, I offer my deepest reverence, prayers, and warmest wishes. I pray for his long and healthy life and to guide the world towards more love, peace and compassion,� Rijiju tweeted.
The main function marking the birthday of the Dalai Lama was organised by the Tawang Monastery administration at Ugyenling Gonpa, Tawang � the birth place of the 6th Dalai Lama. The devotees lit lamps, burnt incense sticks and prayed for the long and healthy life of the 14th Dalai Lama.
On the occasion, Humanity Group, an NGO active in Tawang, organised a blood donation camp at the Khandro Drowa Tsangmu District Hospital, Tawang, in collaboration with the District Blood Bank, Tawang.
The Department of Environment and Forests, Tawang, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Society, planted more than 500 saplings in the Phamla and Sange-ling Gonpa area, coinciding with the 84th birthday of the Dalai Lama and as part of the ongoing Vanmahotsava Saptah on Saturday. Monks from Sange-ling Gonpa and villagers of Phamla also participated in the plantation programme.
The Tibet Support Group of Arunachal Pradesh also extended greetings and birthday wishes to the Dalai Lama and prayed for the long life of the exiled spiritual leader.
�We hope and pray that His Holiness Dalai Lama may return to Tibet with honour during his lifetime,� the Group said.