Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Saturday wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of his 72nd birthday.

“On the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seventy-second birthday I have written to him to offer my warmest good wishes and prayers for his continued good health,” tweeted the Dalai Lama.

“It’s wonderful,” the Dalai Lama wrote, “that India has successfully met the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Although we have not seen its complete end, India today is better placed to address similar challenges in the future.”

“As the longest-staying guest in India, I have observed its development first hand. Now the country is also a rising economic power and a leader in science and technology,” added the Tibetan spiritual leader.

He also lauded “India’s strong democratic foundation” and said that it was an example of peace and stability. Speaking on Indian demographic composition, he said, “Having one of the youngest populations is an asset that will enable further development and the fulfilment of positive aspirations. I am delighted that India is poised to assume its rightful place in the world.”

Highlighting Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of “Ahimsa”, he said, “I have great admiration for the way Mahatma Gandhi made the age-old practice of ‘ahimsa’ appreciated across the world. May I reiterate that on my part, in addition to seeking to promote this principle wherever possible, I am deeply committed to creating greater awareness of the power of ‘karuna’ to help us all lead a happy and meaningful life. These values are treasures from the Indian tradition.”

The Tibetan spiritual leader also expressed deep gratitude to the Indian Government and its people for helping Tibetans who were forced into exile in 1959 by the illegal occupation of China.

“Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express deep gratitude to the government and people of India for the warm and generous hospitality we Tibetans have enjoyed since we were forced into exile in 1959,” said the Dalai Lama. (ANI)