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Dalai Lama visits Mongolia despite China’s objections

Dalai Lama speaking in Mongolia on Saturday.  

The Dalai Lama met with Buddhist worshippers on Saturday during a four-day visit to Mongolia, despite Beijing’s strident demand that he be barred from entering the country.

China is “firmly opposed to the anti-China separatist activities by the Dalai Lama in any country, in any name, and in any capacity”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Friday. The People’s Republic further demanded that Mongolia “not allow the visit by the Dalai Lama and do not promote any facilitation for the separatist activities by the Dalai clique.”

Home to devout Buddhists but heavily dependent on trade with China, Mongolia has tried to avoid angering its giant neighbour, which views the Nobel Peace Prize winner as a devious separatist bent on breaking apart China. But the spiritual leader has pressed more for Tibetan autonomy rather than outright independence.

Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsendiin Munkh-Orgil said on Friday that the Dalai Lama’s visit had no connection with the government.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader arrived in the landlocked nation’s capital of Ulan Bator on Friday and will stay until November 22.

‘Unique relationship’

At the airport, he said Mongolia and Tibet have “a unique and ancient relationship” like that of a master and a student. “I want Mongolians to use new-era education and scientific achievements in their life to develop their country while keeping their beautiful ethical traditions such as respecting elders and being humane to each other,” he said.

Hundreds of monks and worshippers waited hours on Saturday in biting temperatures for a glimpse of the 81-year-old Tibetan. — AFP

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:57:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Dalai-Lama-visits-Mongolia-despite-China%E2%80%99s-objections/article16668468.ece

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