Dalai Lama’s first proposed trip abroad

Lal Bahadur Shastri, June 1964, New Delhi, India.

Lal Bahadur Shastri, June 1964, New Delhi, India. File photo/Life/James Burke/India


NEW DELHI, India, 10 March 1964

Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri, Minister without Portfolio, informed the Lok Sabha today that the Dalai Lama was contemplating a visit to some neighbouring Buddhist and other Asian countries.

His desire to go abroad was conveyed recently to the Foreign Secretary by Mr Gyalo Thondup, brother of the Dalai Lama.

Mr Shastri was making a brief statement to correct his reply given yesterday to a supplementary question. He had stated then that he did not know whether the Dalai Lama had expressed any desire to go abroad.

Answering questions by Mr HV Kamath (PSP) and Mr GC Mathur (C), the Minister said that the Government had not been given any specific programme so far about the proposed trip. Mr Thondup only mentioned some of the neighbouring countries which the Dalai Lama would like to visit. The details would have to be discussed.

Mr NG Ranga (S) said he welcomed the change in the Government’s attitude and was happy that the Dalai Lama would be free to go to any country to propagate the cause of Tibetan freedom. He hoped he would also be free to come back.

Mr Shastri replied he could certainly come back. The Government would have further talks with him when the details were considered.

Asked whether the Dalai Lama wished to settle down permanently in one of the Buddhist countries, Mr Shastri said he had no information.

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