| 20 May 2024, Monday |

US greets Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama turned 86 today, on this occasion his supporters announced plans to establish a library in his honor in New York.

“I am delighted to extend warm wishes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 86th birthday on July 6. His Holiness is an inspiration to many around the world who are drawn to his messages of compassion, equality, and inclusivity, ” Secretary of State Antony J Blinken said.

“I have deep respect and appreciation for His Holiness’ grace, wisdom, and humility, as well as his dedication to greater global equality and the equal rights of all people, including his fellow Tibetans. I wish His Holiness the very best, ” he added.

On the occasion of his 86th birthday, Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, New York announced the launch of a $5 million public fundraising campaign to build a Dalai Lama Library and Learning Centre.

“Today we wish a happy birthday to his holiness the Dalai Lama, whose grace and compassion have served as an inspiration to all of us,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.

“We commend his dedication to the global Tibetan community and to all those around the world who share in his important message of peace and kindness and his commitment to equality and, importantly, to human dignity. We join all of those in wishing His Holiness many more years to come, ” Price said.

Tenzin Choesang, the president of Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, said he is seeking support from donors for a project of great benefit to all of humanity – building the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Centre.

“Our vision – one that is supported and shared by the Dalai Lama – is to encourage genuine human interconnection and unity in an increasingly divided world. The Dalai Lama Library and Learning Centre will do this by creating a transformational hub of compassionate and humane education that is open to everyone, both in-person and online, ” he said in a statement.

According to the monastery, the Dalai Lama Library and Learning Centre will span 9,240 square feet and will serve as a repository for all the work of the current and previous Dalai Lamas, and a place for study and exploration for the public, including students, scholars, spiritual, civic and business leaders, and practitioners of all faiths.

The Learning Centre will be a physical space as well as a virtual destination (via its robust website) for people across North America and the world, offering free and low-cost programmes.