(TibetanReview.net, Oct13, 2016) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is to visit India’s diplomatically sensitive state of Arunachal Pradesh in the second week of Mar 2017, reported arunachaltimes.in Oct 10. The report said the Buddhist leader had accepted an invitation extended by the state’s young chief Minister Mr Pema Khandu who called on him in New Delhi on Oct 9.
The Dalai Lama, who entered the state during his 1959 escape from Chinese occupation forces, last visited the state, his fifth, in Nov 2009. At that time, New Delhi cleared his week-long visit, ignoring objections from China. China has in the past also objected to Indian leaders visiting the state while also refusing to issue proper visas to applicants from the state.
China claims that the state, which has a sizeable Buddhist population, belongs to it, taking to describing it as Southern Tibet in recent years. It briefly occupied a portion of it during a 1962 aggression but quickly withdrew later on. China does not enjoy any support for its claim from any section of the state’s population.
Khandu was accompanied by the state assembly Speaker Mr TN Thongdok, Deputy Chief Minister Mr Chowna Mein, Minister Mr Rajesh Tacho, Parliamentary Secretaries Mr Jambey Tashi, Mr Phurpa Tsering, and Mr Pasang Dorjee Sona, MLA Mr Japu Deru, and others. Chairs of the reception committee, Jambey Wangdi and Tungri Effa, were also present.
The Dalai Lama was on his way to Europe for a tour of five nations to give religious teachings, hold interfaith meetings, and give public talks. The meeting took place in his hotel in New Delhi.