“In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.”
2015 marks the 80th anniversary of the birth year of Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Born on July 6, 1935 and trained from a young age as a Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama was thrust early into his role as Tibet’s national leader after Communist China invaded and occupied the independent Himalayan country in 1950. Due to China's failure to honor its promises, His Holiness fled Tibet in 1959 to save Tibet and its culture. Thousands of Tibetans then followed him into exile. The exile government that he established in Dharamsala, India, is now headed by an elected political leader called the Sikyong, while the Dalai Lama himself remains Tibet’s spiritual leader. As a Nobel laureate, the Dalai Lama frequently travels internationally. Throughout the world His Holiness is considered a beacon of peace to millions of people. He is the face of the Tibetan people and their ongoing struggle for freedom, and he represents the hope of a compassionate humanity for all.