Dharamsala, India, 17 December 2008 (By Phurbu Thinley, phayul.com) - Exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama Wednesday reportedly said he had been living in the hill station of Himachal Pradesh for so long that he feels "like a citizen" of the state.
Since 2004, the winter sessions of the Himachal Pradesh State Legislative Assembly have been held in Dharamsala, while the summer sessions continue to be held in the state capital Shimla.
The Dalai Lama's visit today to the Vidhan Sabha Complex came on the concluding day of a week-long winter session of the state assembly, which began on Dec 11.
At the event, the Dalai Lama was joined by the Himachal CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, former CM Virbhadra Singh, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Tulsi Ram and Opposition leader Vidhya Stokes, and Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.
Tibetan and Indian cricket enthusiasts, including school children, turned up in large number to cheer up the teams.
"By coming together through event like this can further strengthen our bond of closeness with the people and leaders of this state," Mr Penpa, who was just yesterday sworn in as the new speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, told Phayul.
"His Holiness also personally expressed today during his interactions that he was very happy to meet many of his old Indian friends," Mr Penpa said.