In a significant development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Dalai Lama on Tuesday (6 July) on his 86th birthday and conveyed greetings to the Tibetan spiritual leader.
The development comes amid tense relations between India and China since the border clash between the two countries' armies in June last year.
PM Modi took to Twitter to inform that he had a telephonic conversation with Dalai Lama.
"Spoke on phone to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to convey greetings on his 86th birthday," PM Modi said.
"We wish him a long and healthy life," PM Modi added.
Praising the move by the Indian PM, Dolma Tsering, a member of Tibetan parliament, stated, "This is a positive move from PM Modi on wishing happy birthday to His Holiness (Dalai Lama). PM Modi wants to send message that India is no longer going to be very cautious talking about Tibet. It sends a very strong message to China: Dolma Tsering, member of Tibetan parliament."
Lobsang Wangyal, a Tibetan activist, said, "PM Modi calling the Dalai Lama to wish him on his birthday is a great gesture, despite the border issue between India and China. This is a sign of India showing its strength. It is a very strong message to China."
Earlier today, in a message on his 86th birthday, Dalai Lama said, "Since I became a refugee and now settled in India, I have taken full advantage of India’s freedom and religious harmony. I want to assure you that for the rest of my life I am committed to reviving ancient Indian knowledge,".
"I really appreciate the Indian concept of secular values, not dependent on religion, such as honesty, karuna (compassion) and ahimsa (non-violence)," he added.
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