Following the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today stated that there is no change in the Government of India’s policy towards Tibet Autonomous Region of People’s Republic of China. On April 11, Dalai Lama wrapped up his week-long tour of Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing had strongly objected to.
The Nobel Peace laureate, who Beijing has been called an “anti-China separatist”, described his visit to Arunachal Pradesh as a “memorable one” that he would cherish forever.He also thanked the people, particularly from far off villages, who gathered in large numbers to welcome and listen to him at all the places that he visited. In fact, this is not for the first time that the 81-year-old Tibetan leader is visiting Arunachal or Tawang. In 1959, he escaped from China via Tawang and visited the state in 1983, 1997, 2003 and 2009.The Dalai Lama was to start his week-long religious visit to Arunachal Pradesh from Tawang on April 4. But bad weather forced him to travel by road as his helicopter couldn’t take off from Dibrugarh airport in Assam.
However, China had earlier warned India that the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh will negatively impact the settlement of the border dispute and vowed to take “further action” to safeguard its territorial sovereignty. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters that provocative political statements by the Dalai Lama and an Indian official during the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to the “disputed areas” have “already exceeded the scope of religious activities”.
China was opposed to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, particularly Tawang, which it considers as Southern Tibet. Its media and foreign ministry has repeatedly aired its opposition to the Tibetan Buddhist leaders’s visit to the region.
(With inputs from agencies)