The Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama today turned 79. Minister for Food and Civil Supplies GS Bali on the behalf of the Himachal Government greeted Tibetan community at McLeodganj and presented a bouquet to Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay.

Bali said the spiritual leader’s message of love, compassion, non-violence and religious harmony was a great inspiration for the international community.

Currently, the Dalai Lama is in Leh to participate in the ‘kalachakra’ ceremony for world peace.

The minister also sanctioned a financial assistance of Rs.3 crore for the construction of a road from lower Dharamsala town to McLeodganj.

He announced that the Tibetans could avail subsidised rice and wheat under the government of India’s food security act.

Sangay said the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) dedicated 2014 as the “Year of the Great 14th Dalai Lama” to express his accomplishments for the cause of Tibet and the promotion of peace, inter-faith harmony and humane values.

Under the year-long programme, the CTA will organise 21 major events, which include some 300 smaller activities.

Hundreds of exiled Tibetans and foreigners Sunday joined in the 79th birthday celebrations of their spiritual leader here.