The visit of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh despite strong objections from China was in focus during the year that saw the Congress romping back to power with a two-thirds majority in the assembly polls.
Arunachalees, specially those living in the three predominantly Buddhist districts of Tawang, West and East Kameng, prayed throughout the year for the Centre's clearance to Dalai Lama's visit to the picturesque Tawang, known for its over 300-year-old monastery.
There was a sigh of relief when Prime Manmohan Singh told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of an international summit in Thailand in October that India treated the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest and a spiritual leader and he was free to visit any part of the country.
Beijing also objected to visits by Singh and President Pratibha Patil to the state during the year.
Arunachalees were also reassured when External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in Parliament that India was not soft on China over border disputes.
The government announced its decision to deploy more troops along the over 1,000-km-long Sino-India border in the hilly state.
The Dalai Lama was on a week-long visit to the state in November.
China trained its guns on the Dalai Lama and criticised his visit to Arunachal as a 'separatist' activity out to 'wreck' Sino-India ties.