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Dharamsala Tibetans celebrate birthday of Karmapa Lama

June 29, 2008

ANI
June 26th, 2008

Dharamsala, June 26 (ANI) -- Exiled Tibetan Buddhists living in
Dharamsala are celebrating the 23rd birthday of Ugyen Trinley Dorje,
the 17th Karmapa and heir to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama,
with day-long celebrations on Thursday.

Hundreds of Tibetans chanted hymns praying for peace and harmony and
performed traditional dances as Dorje cut the cake.

"They are praying for the Karmapa Lama's long life. They are also
praying for world peace. The reason is to free everybody from
sufferings," said Lama Phungstok, the personal secretary to Karmapa.

The Karmapa Lama, who fled to India in January 2001, following
religious suppression and human rights violation by the Chinese, is
now settled in Dharamsala. He is the head of the Karma Kagyu sect of
Buddhism, which is headquartered at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim.

Thrinley has been granted refugee status by the Indian Government.

The 17th Karmapa Lama is the highest Tibetan lama whose authority is
recognised by both Beijing and the Dalai Lama. (ANI)
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