Tibetans from Central Tibet Lhasa to Kham Tawu in eastern Tibet celebrated their Tibetan spiritual leader’s 77th birthday Friday on July 6. Despite heavy security and military presence in Lhasa, many visited the holy Jokhang temple to pray for the Dalai Lama.
Former Tawu residents in exile with contacts in Tawu said a large number of monks and Tibetans assembled in front of Tawu Nyatso Monastery where they burned incense and offered white scarves to the photo of the Dalai Lama.
China has long accused the Dalai Lama of trying to separate Tibet from China and has tried to get monks to denounce him in political education programs held in religious institutions in Tibetan areas. The Dalai Lama stepped down as the leader of the Tibetan government in exile last year. He has repeatedly said he is not pushing for Tibetan independence, but instead wants dialogue with Chinese officials aimed at establishing Tibetan autonomy.