Dharamshala — Celebrating the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Monday morning, the political leader of Tibet Dr Lobsang Sangay stressed his hope that "the Chinese leadership will soon understand the Middle Way Approach as a mutually beneficial solution and continue the dialogue process with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama."

His comments came as thousands of Tibetans and their supporters gathered at the Main Tibetan Temple in McLeod Ganj, on July 6, to celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"This global stature of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has provided a firm and steady support for the Tibet issue," Dr Sangay expressed, "we pray for his long life and reaffirm our unwavering loyalty and devotion to him

"It is our hope that the Chinese leadership will soon understand and accept the middle-way approach to a mutually beneficial solution and continue the dialogue process with the envoys of the Dalai Lama as the only way to resolve the issue of Tibet," Dr Sangay said in a statement about the spiritual leader's 80th birthday.

Sikyong added that "Tibetans inside Tibet sustain infinite hope and courage. They stand strong with patriotic fervor and look to His Holiness the Dalai Lama with utmost reverence and faith. The 140 Tibetans who self immolated have made the universal demand for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and for freedom for Tibetans."

"By the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and support and solidarity of Tibetans in and outside Tibet, the 14th Kashag (cabinet) has largely been able to carry out its responsibilities," Tibetan political leader said, adding that his cabinet "would like to compliment and thank all those who participated in observing 2014 as the "Year of the Great 14th Dalai Lama."

"Throughout this past year, many Tibetan-managed institutions and organizations based in India, Europe, USA and around the world voluntarily initiated numerous activities to express their deepest gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama," the statement said.

"The Central Tibetan Administration celebrated the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday as per Tibetan calendar on June 21. Despite restrictions, Tibetans inside Tibet also enthusiastically participated in celebrating the 80th birthday of the Dalai Lama through prayers and recitations."

Praying for the long life of the Dalai Lama, the global face of the Tibetan movement in exile, Sikyong said "for Tibetans, His Holiness is the life and soul of Tibet and the Tibetan people".

"Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet, as well as millions of others touched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's message of peace and non-violence, observe this special occasion with immense delight," he added.

"Tibetan unity and harmony under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has never been greater," he added saying, "It is comparable only to Tibet under the reign of the three great dharma kings, more than a thousand years ago."

It is also of great joy that the Central Tibetan Administration celebrated His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday as per Tibetan calendar on 21st June, along with Dhomay Association and International Gelug Association in Dharamshala.

He said that "Despite restrictions, Tibetans inside Tibet enthusiastically participated in celebrating the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama through prayers, recitations, and the rescue of live animals, among other meritorious acts which will undoubtedly help in the accumulation of good karma and unity of the Tibetan people."

The statement also articulated the significant events in His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's life. With a focus on the preservation and promotion of the unique religion and culture of the Tibetan people, Sikyong stated that "the monastic centres of the four religious traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and of Bon were re-established and revived in exile." Since then the different traditions have thrived in mutual respect and harmony," he added.

"Similarly, His Holiness also established separate Tibetan settlements to ensure stable livelihoods within compact communities of Tibetan refugees," said the statement.

His Holiness' efforts to introduce a democratic system in exile is of great importance," he noted; "His Holiness the Dalai Lama reformed and developed the exile Tibetan Administration, the legitimate and natural successor of the government established by the Great 5th Dalai Lama, into a full-fledged democratic entity capable of representing and uniting all Tibetans."

"Our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his supreme sacrifices and tireless endeavors in these 56 years of wise and able leadership knows no bounds."

"Among the people of the entire Himalayan region," Sikyong said "His Holiness the Dalai Lama has inspired new confidence to take greater pride in our common cultural and religious heritage."

"In an even wider sphere, for millions of Buddhists around the world, he is the human manifestation of the Bodhisattva of compassion, the beacon of hope and light for all human kind."

"Throughout the world, regardless of nationality, race or religion, millions of citizens consider His Holiness to be a beacon of peace and justice," praised him by saying that "His Holiness has exerted tireless efforts to fulfill his three commitments in life: promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony and increased awareness and preservation of Tibet's Buddhist culture. Because of his unflagging devotion to these goals, millions of people around the globe admire and love him."

The statement also urges "all Tibetans to engage in acts that are consistent with the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and at the same time endeavor ceaselessly in preserving, promoting and acting upon traditional Tibetan values."

The cabinet statement also remembered His Holiness' late parents and said, "We take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's loving parents, Choekyong Tsering and Dekyi Tsering, for blessing us with their precious son, Lhamo Dhondup."

"On this most special occasion, we are happy to have the chance to express our gratitude to the central government and state governments of India, and to all peace-loving people around the world who support the cause of Tibet in countless ways for these many years."

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