India to protest China letter to West Bengal
India plans to take up with China the demand it made to the West Bengal chief secretary that the state governor and chief minister stay away from a function in Kolkata being addressed by the Dalai Lama.delhi Updated: Dec 02, 2011 01:22 IST
India plans to take up with China the demand it made to the West Bengal chief secretary that the state governor and chief minister stay away from a function in Kolkata being addressed by the Dalai Lama.
This comes just days after Beijing postponed the latest round of border talks, scheduled to start Monday (November 28) in the Capital, over New Delhi’s refusal to accede to its demand that a Buddhist convention the Tibetan spiritual leader was to address be cancelled. The Dalai Lama addressed that meet Wednesday.
The two neighbours are still on for the bilateral military dialogue on December 9 in New Delhi, though. China's representative, Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, is to get his visa on December 7.
On Thursday, ignoring Chinese objections, governor MK Narayanan attended the function in Kolkata. Refusing to comment on the letter from the Chinese consulate, he said, "What do you expect me to do? If they have written, they have written."
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee didn’t make it though on account of her mother’s illness, but sent Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’ Brien in her place.
In its letter to the chief secretary, Beijing implied that the governor and chief minister's presence at the meet would amount to an endorsement of the Dalai Lama's "anti-China" position.
The Centre plans to object to China's breach of protocol in sending the missive to the state chief secretary when the normal channel for such communication is the foreign ministry.
On his part, the Dalai Lama said, "The Chinese consider my activities anti-China activity. This has become routine."
"The Chinese government thinks I am a demon. Actually, they are childish. I may be a demon but not a bad one."
First Published: Dec 02, 2011 00:41 IST