ITANAGAR, July 6: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday joined the 89th birthday celebration of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, organised at the famous Galden Namgey Lhatse Monastery in the state's Tawang district.

The 400-year-old monastery popularly known as the Tawang monastery, is the largest Buddhist monastery in India and the second-largest in Asia.

On the occasion, the chief minister also took part in a cake-cutting event and joined a prayer ceremony organised by the monks there.

"Offered prayers at the sacred Tawang Monastery on the auspicious occasion of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama's 89th birthday. I prayed for His Holiness's good health, long life, and continued guidance for humanity through his invaluable teachings," Khandu posted on X.

He said, "May His Holiness continue to bless our world with his compassion, wisdom, and peace. Long Live His Holiness!

The monks of Tawang Monastery offered Den-Tsik Monlam, a prayer ceremony.

"May this special day inspire us to embrace compassion, empathy, and kindness, and strive towards creating a more harmonious world, Khandu added.

To mark the occasion, Khandu along with others also planted tree saplings at Urgelling, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama.

In Itanagar, a blood donation drive was organised by the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in association with the Arunachal Life Saving Foundation at the assembly premises here to mark the 89th birth anniversary of Dalai Lama.

Taking part in the drive, Speaker Tesam Pongte emphasized the critical role of blood donation in saving lives.

He praised generous donors for voluntarily donating blood.

Deputy Speaker Kardo Nyigyor and former advisor to chief minister Tai Tagak also encouraged people to regularly donate blood to save lives.

Scores of people including personnel of the Arunachal Pradesh Police, National Disaster Response Force, Central Reserve Police Force, civilians, government officials and students voluntarily took part and donated blood.

In Tezu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein took part in the birthday celebration of Dalai Lama at the Lhagon Jangchup Choeling Monastery, Dhargyeling Tibetan Settlement Camp here.

This year's celebration was significant as it marked the unanimous declaration by the 12th General Assembly of the Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) to commemorate July 6 as the 'Universal Day of Compassion' in honour of His Holiness's birthday.

Wishing the Dalai Lama, Mein said the whole world is celebrating this momentous occasion and urged people to embrace his teachings of compassion, peace and harmony.