Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Tuesday wished a long and healthy life to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 69th birthday.

In a letter, the spiritual leader wrote: "As a long time guest of India, and as someone who cares deeply about this country, I congratulate you on the growing confidence you have brought about.

"India's success not only benefits the people of India but also greatly contributes to the development of the world as a whole," he said.

"As I have communicated to you earlier, I'm very encouraged by the growing interest young people across India are showing in ancient Indian knowledge, which shines like a sun in the East. I am convinced that the age-old Indian traditions of non-violent conduct -- 'ahimsa', backed by a compassionate motivation -- 'karuna', are not only relevant, but are also necessary in today's world," the Nobel Peace laureate wrote.

"Considering myself a messenger of India, when I meet people from other parts of the world, I regularly commend India, the world's most populous democracy, for its remarkable and deeply rooted religious pluralism. India stands as an example of harmony and stability. The peaceful conduct of elections, both at national and state levels, is a further testament to that tradition."

The elderly Buddhist monk concluded, "For us Tibetans living in exile, India is not only our spiritual refuge, but for more than sixty years has also been our physical home. May I again take this opportunity to extend our deep gratitude to the government and people of India for providing us such warm and generous hospitality."

The Dalai Lama along with many of his supporters fled Tibet and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.

The Tibetan government-in-exile that never got recognition from any country is based in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.

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