His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, runs his government in exile from Dharmashala in northern India.The Dalai Lama was born Lhamo Thondup on July 6, 1935 in Taktser, China.
At age 15, he assumed political power of Tibet as the Dalai Lama. The People’s Republic of China invaded that same year. Fearing assassination, he and thousands of followers fled to Dharamsala in northern India, where they established an alternative government. Since then, the Dalai Lama has taken numerous actions in hopes of establishing an autonomous Tibetan state within the People’s Republic of China. However, the Chinese government has shown no signs of moving toward peace and reconciliation with Tibet.Known as an effective public speaker, the Dalai Lama is often described as charismatic. His message is always one of peace and compassion for people all over the world.In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent efforts for the liberation of Tibet and his concern for global environmental problems. The Committee’s citation stated, “The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet consistently has opposed the use of violence.