India objects to ‘Thank you, India’ event; McLeod Ganj is new venue

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Photographer unknown

FE Online | Financial Express

NEW DELHI, India, 6 March 2018

The Tibetan government-in-exile will not hold two main events in New Delhi. These events were scheduled to take place in the national capital to mark 60 years in exile of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. It has been learnt that Central Tibetan Administration has decided to shift the ‘Thank You India’ event, which was decided to be held at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on April 1, to Dharamshala. Apart from this an inter-faith prayer, which was to be organised at the Gandhi Samadhi in Rajghat on March 31, has been cancelled, according to The Indian Express report.

This comes days after there was a report which stated that the central Indian government had allegedly asked senior leaders and officials not to attend any event that would mark 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama. However, later the Ministry of External Affairs had categorically stated that there was no change in government’s position and stand on the Dalai Lama. The MEA said that India’s position on the Dalai Lama was clear and consistent. The Dalai Lama is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by people of India and accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in the country, MEA said, as per ANI report.

It was learnt that Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s had sent a note to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha who then sent a directive asking officials not to join the events. The Central government had said that it was a “very sensitive time” for the Sino-India relationship.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration Sonam Dagpo said that they respected the central government’s decision and chose not to share too much information. However, he had said that India is host to Tibetan refugees, according to IE report. The Tibetan government-in-exile will continue to participate in Swachh Bharat, tree-plantation, Yoga Day and other events, Dagpo was quoted as saying by IE.

Last year, the Dalai Lama asserted that Tibet does not seek independence from China but wants greater development. Addressing an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, he said that both China and Tibet enjoyed a close relationship even as there were a few fights. He said that the past is past, and stressed the need to look to the future.

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