Food, Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs minister Kishan Kapoor on Friday said since Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama migrated to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh had progressed with his blessing and the state now too consider him as part of family.

Addressing a gathering at Mcleodganj in Dharamshala on the occasion of Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday, Kapoor said in 1959, he was forced to come into exile after the brutal occupation of Tibet by Chinese communist forces.

“After coming into exile, he has resided in Himachal Pradesh. Since then, HP has progressed with the blessings of Dalai Lama and therefore, entire state considers him as part of the family,” he said.

He lauded his commitment to peace particularly highlighting the five point peace plan proposed to resolve the Tibet issue in the late 1980s.

“The five point peace plan is a blue print to resolve the Tibet issue peacefully which was rejected by the Chinese government. However, the plan was applauded by the international community as well as overseas Chinese residing in different parts of the world,” he said.

He described Dalai Lama as a visionary who has warned of a water crisis which is increasingly becoming a reality these days. “Dharamshala as well as Shimla is facing a severe water shortage. The same is happening in many parts of the world. This was something that Dalai Lama has talked about many years ago. So we should heed to his words,” he said.

He also expressed certainty that the Tibet issue will be resolved soon and added that India will play a key role in the fruition of that goal.

Lok Sabha MP Janardhan Singh Sigriwal spoke about India’s continued support for Tibet and the Tibetan people.”Since the days of Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, India has raised its voice for the Tibetan people. The Indian parliament, in particular, has always supported Tibet. When Dalai Lama proposed the five point peace plan, the Indian parliament strongly supported it,” he said.

He said India has led global efforts to help preserve Tibet’s distinct religion and culture from Chinese destruction. Indian parliament has supported the resumption of Sino-Tibetan dialogue and encourages a democracy in Tibet as well as in the Tibetan community in exile.

Since the Parliamentarian hails from Bihar, he invoked the Tibetan people’s dharmic links to Bodh Gaya and invited Tibetans to visit the Bihar Museum and Vaishali. “The world stands with Tibet and the Tibet issue will be resolved soon,” he said.

Thousands of Tibetans, Indians and foreigners gathered at the Tsuglagkhang courtyard in Mcleodganj to celebrate birthday of Dalai Lama in which Rajya Sabha MP Gopal Narayan Singh were also present.