In the backdrop of the recent controversy over the denial of visa to Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa and two other Chinese activists, India said on Thursday that no conference had taken place in Dharamsala, which was widely reported to be an anti-Beijing congregation.
Asked to share details of the conference, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said it was not a conference.
“There was no conference. Certain individuals had come to India to meet Dalai Lama. As you are aware, the Dalai Lama is a respected spritual leader and there is absolutely no bar on foreigners coming to India to have a religious or spritual audience with him,” he said.
Last month, India cancelled the visa given to Chinese dissident Dolkun Isa who was scheduled to participate in the congregation organised by US-based ‘Initiatives for China’. India’s action denying them visa to attend the “Conference on Democracy and China’ was seen by many as buckling under Chinese pressure.
India also denied visas to another Chinese dissident Lu Jinguh and activist Ra Wong who were scheduled to visit Dharamsala.
Lu is a well-known Tiananmen activist, while Ra is a Hong Kong-based activist.