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updated: 7/6/2013 11:55 AM

Tibetans in India celebrate as Dalai Lama turns 78

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  • Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reacts after he was presented a headgear and a bouquet of flowers during an event organized to celebrate his 78th birthday at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."

      Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reacts after he was presented a headgear and a bouquet of flowers during an event organized to celebrate his 78th birthday at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."
    Associated Press/Aijaz Rahi

  • A traditional Tibetan artist listens to spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during an event organized to celebrate the 78th birthday of the Dalai Lama at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."

      A traditional Tibetan artist listens to spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during an event organized to celebrate the 78th birthday of the Dalai Lama at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."
    Associated Press/Aijaz Rahi

  • Traditional Tibetan artists wait backstage for their performance during an event organized to celebrate the 78th birthday of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."

      Traditional Tibetan artists wait backstage for their performance during an event organized to celebrate the 78th birthday of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 137 miles southwest of Bangalore, India, Saturday, July 6. Speaking after an interfaith meeting, he said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."
    Associated Press/Aijaz Rahi

 

Associated Press

BYLAKUPPE, India -- Thousands of Tibetans waved banners and danced and schoolchildren sang prayers Saturday at a Tibetan university in southern India in celebration of the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday.

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Speaking after an interfaith meeting, the Tibetans' spiritual leader called for love and compassion to promote world peace.

Turning to a Muslim priest, the Dalai Lama said the real meaning of jihad, or holy war, was "to combat our negative emotions."

"Jihad is not beating or killing (others)," he said.

He said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "6 million Tibetans (in China) who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959. Beijing accuses him of seeking to separate Tibet from China, but he says he wants only wide autonomy under Chinese rule.

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