Watch the video: Dalai Lama celebrates his birthday: His Holiness turns 85.
The Dalai Lama celebrates his 85th birthday. His Holiness, as the spiritual leader of Tibet is officially called, had to do without major celebrations. He spoke to followers via video conference and received congratulations from leading figures from all over the world. Only a few monks attended a celebration that was held in the mountain town of Dharamsala in northern India. The Dalai Lama was found at the age of two as the rebirth of his predecessor and officially received his title in 1940. The Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. After a failed rebellion against the Chinese rule of Tibet, the spiritual leader went into exile in India in 1959. The supporters of the Nobel Prize winner run an exile government and promote Tibet's autonomy by peaceful means. Many Tibetans fear that their hope for a China-independent Tibet will be finally dashed after the current Dalai Lama has passed away. For China, the Dalai Lama is not only a dangerous separatist, the People's Republic also claims the right to choose the next Dalai Lama. Many Tibetans see this as China's attempt to exert more influence on Tibet.