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Tibetans across India celebrate Dalai Lama's birthday

Buddhist monks and Tibetans offer prayers on the 78th birthday of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The chief of India's southern Karnataka state, Siddaramaiah, visited Bylakuppe city on Saturday (July 6) to meet him. Bylakuppe is home to the largest gathering of Tibetan exiles outside of Dharamshala - the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. Meanwhile in Shimla in India's northern Himachal Pradesh province, the birthday celebrations of the spiritual leader were met with music and song. The Dalai Lama currently lives in India but many Tibetans fear that Beijing will simply appoint its own replacement to him, a scenario that will almost certainly cause violent protests in Tibet. The Dalai Lama has suggested that his incarnation might be found outside Chinese-controlled territory and has said that the succession process could break with tradition -- either by being hand-picked by him or through democratic elections.

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