India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupma Rao on Saturday met Tibet’s exiled, spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at his residence in a low profile day long visit to discuss a host of issues.
Nirumpma Rao walks out of Kangra airport along with Tibetan administration's Foreign Secretary
Nirupma Rao, accompanied by joint secretary for East Asia affairs Gautam Babambewale arrived in Dharamsala at the seat of Tibetan government–in-exile by a routine flight from Delhi. Officials of Tibetan administration and local administration greeted the foreign secretary at airport.
Tibetan administrations, Cabinet Secretary Migyur Dorje and Dalai Lama’s representative in Delhi Tempa Tsering were present at the airport.
Rao, who spent few minutes at the airport lounge before getting into her car, refused to talk to media.
She straight away drove to attend a luncheon meeting with Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche and his cabinet colleagues. Kashag, the Tibetan cabinet had hosted a lunch for the visiting dignitary.
Though, Tibetan officials kept the media away from Chonor house – guest house of the Tibetan administration - but reliable sources said that host of issues related to Tibetan exiles were discussed during the meeting that lasted for nearly three hours.
After meeting the Tibetan Prime Minister, Nirupma Rao met Dalai Lama and spent more than one hour with the spiritual leader. Dalai Lama’s aides refused to comment on the talks but indicated that several issues related to Tibetan exiles were discussed during the meeting between two. Issues related to security of the Dalai Lama also looked into.
Dalai Lama who escaped to India in 1959 after failed uprising has been provided high security cover.
"Issues of common interest were discussed between India’s foreign secretary and His holiness the Dalai Lama” said Tenzing Taklha, joint secretary at Dalai Lama’s private office.
Dalai Lama administration maintained strict confidentiality, but much significance is being attached to the Foreign Secretary’s visit, which comes exactly a week after, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menons visit to Beijing.
Aimed at improving the bilateral ties between the two countries, Menon had met Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao and other leaders. The state run Xinhua news agency reported that some sensitive issues were also discussed during the meeting.
China brands Dalai Lama as “splittist” and has been blaming him for the widespread protests in Tibet that turned violent ahead of 2008 Beijing Olympic. The Dalai Lama, who seeks autonomy for his home land Tibet, has been constantly denying the charges.