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Dalai Lama Turns 75


Spiritual leader of Tibet addresses crowd of well-wishers in Dharamshala, his adopted hometown in India, where he has lived in exile since 1959

Tibetans around the world are celebrating the 75th birthday of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama addressed a crowd of well-wishers in Dharamshala, his adopted hometown in India, where he has lived in exile since 1959. The Buddhist monk expressed satisfaction with his own life, but voiced regret that Chinese law made it impossible for his followers in Tibet to share in the festivities.

In neighboring Nepal, exiled Tibetans celebrated the Dalai Lama's birthday in a camp on the outskirts of the capital, Kathmandu.

A video clip of celebration activities for Dalai Lama's birthday:

News reports say police detained for questioning about 20 Tibetans in Nepal, although one report said they were released. Officials said they would not permit anti-China demonstrations.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang refused to comment on the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations.

Qin told reporters at a regular daily briefing that only two dates in Tibet's history are important: March 28, 1951, when, as he said, "Tibet was Liberated peacefully;" and May 23, 1959, when, in his words, Tibet adopted democratic reform.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. China accuses him of inciting a separatist movement in Tibet. He says he is not seeking independence for Tibet, just greater autonomy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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