Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh from April 4 overriding China’s objection
China has warned that the visit will severely damage the bilateral ties between the two countries and could affect peace and stability in the border areasindia Updated: Apr 04, 2017 07:14 IST
Tibetan spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, will spend a week in Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang, the strategically vital region that China claims to be a part of southernmost Tibet, overriding Beijing’s objection to the visit.
China has warned India that bilateral ties may suffer “severe damage” and peace and stability in the border areas could be affected if it allows the exile leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh. The neighbouring country, earlier this month, warned that it will see such a move as provocation.
“The invitation to the Dalai Lama by the Indian side to the contested area between China and India will inflict severe damage on the China-India relationship and peace and stability in the China-India border area,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said on March 3.
Beijing claims ownership of Arunachal Pradesh and regards the Dalai Lama as “a separatist”.
However, India has rubbished China’s claim, stating that it was totally a religious tour.
“The Dalai Lama is going to visit Arunachal Pradesh as a religious leader and there is no reason to stop him as his followers are demanding he should come,” Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said in response to the objection raised by China.
Indian government also maintains that the Dalai Lama is free to travel anywhere in the country and has visited the state in the past.
Earlier this week, China objected to the Tibetan leader’s participation in the Indian government sponsored religious event, stating that it is “dissatisfied’ and “strongly opposed” to the presence of the Dalai Lama at the programme.
He will visit Tawang, which is also the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, on April 4 on an invitation from Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, who met the spiritual leader along with his cabinet colleagues in New Delhi on October 9 last year.
“For the next three days he will give teachings on Achariya Kamalashila’s “The Middling Stages of Meditation” (gormrim barpa), Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s “Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva” (laklen sodunma) and will confer the Rinzin Dhondup Initiation at Yiga Choezin in Tawang,” said a source privy to the Dalai Lalma’s itinerary
The 81-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate will give teachings on Geshe Langri Thangpa’s “Eight Verses of Training the Mind” and Guru Yoga and will confer the “Avalokiteshvara Permission” at Thupsung Dhargyeling Monastery on April 10.
Next day he will give a teaching and confer “White Tara Long Life Empowerment” at Buddha Park and wrap up his public engagements on April 12 with a teaching at the Thupten Gatsal Ling.
This will be the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Arunachal after a gap of eight years.
He last visited the state in 2009. Earlier, he travelled to the north-eastern state in 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2009.