Image Credit: Danish Siddiqui/ Files

In Celebration of the 86th Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Statement by
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party

As the world celebrates the 86th birth anniversary of the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I am delighted to express my own good wishes to my friend. May he continue in good health, hope and happiness.

Sadly this is the second time that His Holiness is celebrating a birthday under the severe distress of a global pandemic. We are grateful that technology allows us to come together in virtual celebrations, so that this important day can still be marked. In South Africa, we thank the Office of Tibet and His Holiness’s representative, Mr Ngodup Dorjee, for arranging online events and keeping the Friends of Tibet active in this difficult time.

I know that His Holiness is providing tremendous spiritual support to many people throughout the world. His support to Tibetans living in exile, particularly in Dharamsala which is the seat of the Central Tibetan Administration, is crucial, for India like many parts of the world has been facing extreme levels of infection.

It has been ten years since His Holiness handed political authority to the Sikyong (Prime Minister) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Since then, the cause of freedom and democracy has been led by Dr Lobsang Sangay, and now very ably by the new Sikyong Mr Penpa Tsering. I and the IFP continue to support this cause.

We are grateful that His Holiness remains as a spiritual leader. His commitment to peace, non-violence and human solidarity have always resonated with me, for these are the very principles on which I founded Inkatha and by which I have lived for nine decades.

Cognisant of the important role that His Holiness plays in promoting spiritual wellbeing, I am honoured to wish him well on this significant day. May he enjoy a happy birthday.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539