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Sikkim Government declares Dalai Lama's birthday 'restricted holiday'

Tensin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA : The Tibetan community of Sikkim on Wednesday acknowledged Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and his state government's decision to celebrate July 6, the birthday of the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as a restricted holiday. Pawan Chamling’s government on November 5 declared that the day would be observed as one the restricted holidays in all the government offices, public sector undertakings and educational institutions under the state government. “On behalf of followers of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Tibetans in and outside Tibet would like to extent our heartfelt gratitude to Honorable Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and the Government of Sikkim,” Gangtok Tibetan Settlement Office and Tibetan Community in Sikkim expressed in a gratitude message published in Sikkim Express. The gratitude message also acknowledged Chamling’s profound reverence towards His Holiness and his efforts in preserving the essence of Buddhism in his state. 

A restricted holiday means a person related to the festival or auspicious day are allowed to take the day off and Tibetans working in Sikkim government in different capacities welcomed the decision. Dhondup Dorjee, Gangtok Tibetan Settlement Officer, said, “Sikkim government have been very kind to the Tibetan community here and the CM was the Chief guest during the grand 80th birthday celebration of His Holiness here.” On the occasion, Chamling released a book titled ‘A Vision for Young Mind’ and also inaugurated the photo exhibition ‘The Dalai Lama & Sikkim’. The Settlement Officer also welcomed the government's move to provide a reserved seat, nominated counselor, in the Gangtok Municipal Council for the Tibetans who fall under Sikkim subject. The appointment of the nominated counselor will be announced soon. The 80-year old spiritual leader has visited Sikkim seven times and conferred Kalachakra Initiation in Gangtok in April 1993.

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