Indian PM Modi greets Tibetan leader Dalai Lama on birthday in rare phone call
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi let the world know on Tuesday that he had rung Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to wish him a happy 86th birthday, disregarding any potential disapproval from China.
Beijing regards the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in northern India for more than six decades, as a dangerous “splittist,” or separatist, and frowns on any engagement with him.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Indian leaders have generally been circumspect about public contact to avoid upsetting Beijing, but with India’s own relations with China at a low ebb, Modi said in a tweet he had passed on his best wishes personally.
“Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life,” Modi said.
Spoke on phone to His Holiness the @DalaiLama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday. We wish him a long and healthy life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 6, 2021
Several Indian state leaders subsequently greeted the Dalai Lama saying his values, teachings and way of life is an inspiration to humanity.
Chinese troops seized Tibet in 1950 in what Beijing calls a “peaceful liberation,” and the Dalai Lama fled into exile in
1959, following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
New Delhi recognizes Tibet as an autonomous region of China, but has several territorial disputes with Beijing elsewhere on
their 3,500 km (2,173 mile) Himalayan border.
Relations deteriorated in June last year following the most serious clash in decades, when Chinese troops attacked an Indian border patrol with rocks and clubs, killing 20. China later said it lost four soldiers during that clash.
Tens of thousands of troops remain in close proximity at several points in the western Himalayas, on the border running through India’s Ladakh, a region sometimes called “Little Tibet,” because of its Tibetan culture and predominantly Buddhist religion.
Back in 2019, when Modi was still pursuing a detente with Chinese President Xi Jinping, his government had asked Tibetans
in India not to hold a rally to mark the 60th anniversary of the uprising.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen also wished the Dalai Lama a happy birthday, tweeting: “Thank you for teaching us the
importance of coming together to help one another through this pandemic.”
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama gets COVID-19 vaccine shotThe Dalai Lama, the 85-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, was administered the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Saturday at a hospital in the ... Coronavirus
US wants UN to take up Dalai Lama succession: EnvoyThe United States wants the United Nations to take up the Dalai Lama’s succession in an intensifying bid to stop China from trying to handpick ... World News
Nepal declines permission for Dalai Lama’s birthday celebrationThe Dalai Lama’s birthday celebrations in Nepal were cancelled on Sunday after the government refused permission for the event to go ahead, ... Variety
Tibetan leader urges efforts to enable Dalai Lama’s returnThe prime minister of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile urged his compatriots on Saturday to strengthen efforts to make the return of the ... World News
Dalai Lama arrives in India’s northeast on his way to region disputed by ChinaThe Dalai Lama arrived in India’s northeastern state of Assam on Saturday ahead of a visit to neighboring Arunachal Pradesh, a region run by New ... World News
Dalai Lama urges talks with ISIS, help for refugeesThe Dalai Lama says there should be dialogue with ISIS to end bloodshed in Syria and Iraq, and argues that religion is never a justification for killing Gulf
Dalai Lama says 'too many' refugees in EuropeThe Dalai Lama said in an interview that Europe has accepted “too many” refugees World News
‘There is no other way’: Dalai Lama calls for dialogue with ISIS'There has to be dialogue, with ISIS as well,' the Tibetan spiritual leader said Middle East
Dalai Lama urges Suu Kyi to act on RohingyaThe Dalai Lama has urged Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do more to help Myanmar’s persecuted Muslim Rohingya minority Asia
Dalai Lama turns 80Perspective
China drama over Obama’s meeting with Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama’s visit was the third time Obama had met the Tibetan spiritual leader World News