Foreign Secretary to visit to meet Dalai Lama | india | Hindustan Times
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Foreign Secretary to visit to meet Dalai Lama

A week after National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon concluded his significant tour to China as Prime Minister’s special envoy, India’s Foreign Secretary, Nirupma Roy will make her maiden visit to Dharamsala to meet Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday, reports Gaurav Bisht.

india Updated: Jul 09, 2010 23:00 IST
Gaurav Bisht

A week after National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon concluded his significant tour to China as Prime Minister’s special envoy, India’s Foreign Secretary, Nirupma Roy will make her maiden visit to Dharamsala to meet Tibet’s exiled leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday.

Nirupma Roy, whose scheduled visit had been postponed twice, will be accompanied by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia), reliable sources in Ministry of External Affairs told Hindustan Times.

Nirupma Roy will arrive Dharamsala on Saturday for a day long tour to hold talks with the top Tibetan leadership, apart from meeting the Dalai Lama at his mansion in Mcleodganj. According to schedule programme, Nirupma Roy will hold a one to one discussion with Dalai Lama.

Two times directly elected Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche is likely to meet Nirupma at a luncheon meeting. Speaker of the Parliament Pempa Tsering and Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari, are also expected to call on Nirupma Roy.

Although Dalai Lama's admistration is seemingly keeping Roy's visit in low profile, but much significance is being attached to foreign secretary's visits since it comes in the backdrop of National Security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon's tour to Beijing. Menon had met Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, foreign minister Yang Jiechi and influential state councillor Dai Bingguo, who is also the designated Chinese representative to discuss Sino-India border issue.

Though Dalai Lama's office is maintianing strict confedentiality about the foreign secretary's visit, but according to sources Nirupma Roy would be carrying wider mandate to discuss the host of issues.

Sources said that discussions are likely to revolve around key issues, related to Tibetan exiles and their staggering movement to gain autonomy for the Chinese controlled Tibetan Autonomous Region. China has been objecting to the activities of the Tibetan exiles and India had ensured its neighbors that it will not allow its soil to be used for ant-china activity. More than one lakh Tibetan exiles live in 19 different settlements spread across India; with it's headquartering in Dharamsala.

“Issues related to settlements of Tibetans could be discussed during the meeting with Nirupma Roy” said senior official of the Tibetan administration on request of anonymity. Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche said that there was no specific agenda for the meeting, this time. Unlike the previous visits her predecessors to Dharamsala, Nirupma Roy will not hold discussions with the officers of the local administration, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kangra and Deputy Commissioner Kangra.

Issue related to security of Dalai Lama may figure in the talks. The Dalai Lama recently celebrated his 75th birthday fled Tibet after failed uprising agianst Chinse troops in 1959.