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No change in stand on Dalai Lama

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Centre clarifies on report that officials have been told to keep off exile fete

India has not changed its position on the Dalai Lama, the External Affairs Ministry said in response to a news report that the Union government had instructed senior officials and leaders to stay away from the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the exile of the Tibetan spiritual leader in India.

Following the report, a Tibetan spokesperson said the plans for the celebrations had been changed.

“He is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by the people of India. There is no change in that position. His Holiness is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India,” Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, without denying that such an instruction was sent out.

The news report said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had recently written to senior government officials and political figures to avoid attending the events to mark the Dalai Lama’s arrival in India 60 years ago because of the “very sensitive phase” in India’s ties with China.

Major celebrations

The Hindu had earlier reported that the Tibetan leaders were planning to hold major celebrations in Delhi.

Lobsang Sangay, political leader of the community, had said a major event was planned for March 31 at the Raj Ghat. But Tibetan representatives have said the plan has been shelved. “His Holiness is not expected to be in Delhi on March 31, and therefore the inter-religious event planned at the Gandhi memorial will not be held,” said Sonam Norbu Dagpo, secretary of International Relations in the Department of Information and International Relations of the Tibetan government-in exile.

Dr. Sangay had said a representation would be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, Mr. Dagpo said no invite was sent.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:12:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-change-in-stand-on-dalai-lama/article22911442.ece

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