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Govt has no say in Dalai Lama's travel within India: Delhi tells Beijing

Responding to China’s dissatisfaction over the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh, New Delhi said the government had no say in the spiritual leader’s travel within the country, and no political meaning should be read into it.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2017 19:45 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dalai Lama,Arunachal Pradesh,China
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, delivers a public lecture on at a function in New Delhi on February 5, 2017. (AFP File )

The government on Thursday said it has no say in the Dalai Lama’s travel within the country, and no political meaning should be read into it. China had earlier taken strong objection to the Tibetan spiritual leader visiting Arunanchal Pradesh, over which it has territorial contestation with India. India considers Arunanchal Pradesh as an integral part of India.

“The Dalai Lama is a revered religious figure who is treated as such by the government and people of India,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Banglay said. He said the government has no “say” in Dalai Lama’s travel “within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such”.

China said it was “gravely concerned over information that India granted permission to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” its foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said last week.

He warned that an invitation to the spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh will cause serious damage to Sino-Indian ties.

“India is fully aware of the seriousness of the Dalai Lama issue and the sensitivity of the China-India border question. Under such a background, if India invites the Dalai Lama to visit the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of the border region and China-India relations,” he said.

First Published: Mar 09, 2017 19:04 IST