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Dalai Lama's 78th birthday celebrated by Tibetans in India

Thousands of Tibetans wave banners and dance at a Tibetan university in southern India to celebrate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday.

Tibetan spiritual leader has lived in exile in India since 1959

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during an event organized to celebrate his 78th birthday at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bylakuppe, about 220 kilometres southwest of Bangalore, India, on Saturday. (Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press)

Thousands of Tibetans waved banners and danced at a Tibetan university in southern India to celebrate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday.

Speaking after an interfaith meeting Saturday, the Tibetans' spiritual leader called for love and compassion to promote world peace.

Turning to a Muslim priest, the Dalai Lama said the real meaning of jihad, or holy war, was "to combat our negative emotions." He said, "Jihad is not beating or killing [others]."

He also said 150,000 Tibetans living abroad represent "six million Tibetans [in China] who have no freedom or opportunity to express what they feel."

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959.

Beijing accuses him of seeking to separate Tibet from China, but he says he wants only wide autonomy under Chinese rule.

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