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Updated: November 9, 2009 01:25 IST

Dalai Lama surprised over China’s claim to Tawang

PTI
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LANDMARK VISIT: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama along with Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu (in left) arrives at the Tawang Monastery in in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar
LANDMARK VISIT: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama along with Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu (in left) arrives at the Tawang Monastery in in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Sunday criticised China for objecting to his visit to Arunachal Pradesh and expressed surprise over its claims to the border town of Tawang.

The 74-year-old leader, who is visiting Arunachal Pradesh after a gap of six years, said there was no point in holding talks with China on the Tibet issue unless Beijing spelt out its policy on it.

“It is quite usual for China to step up campaigning against me wherever I go,” he told journalists after opening a museum at the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery here.

The Dalai Lama said the People’s Liberation Army of China had occupied Tawang and nearly reached Bomdila during the Sino-India war in 1962. “But the then Chinese government declared a unilateral ceasefire and withdrew [its forces]. Now the Chinese have got different views. This is something which I really don’t know. I am little bit surprised,” he said in an apparent reference to the claims over Tawang.

The Dalai Lama rejected as baseless Beijing’s charge that he was encouraging a separatist movement. The Nobel Laureate described his visit to Tawang, which has strong ties to Tibet, as non-political and aimed at promoting universal brotherhood. He dismissed the Chinese accusation that he wanted to split that country by creating an independent Tibet.


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