(TibetanReview.net, Nov18, 2016) – The Dalai Lama is to visit Mongolia for four days, beginning Nov 18, reported the AP Nov 17. The report cited Davaapurev, a monk at the Gandan monastery in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar as saying the visit of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader would be for purely religious purposes apparently in anticipation of criticism from China.
The monk, who is organizing the visit, has said the Dalai Lama will receive an honorary degree, take part in religious observances and hold meetings with academics and representatives of the nation’s youth.
However, the report said, the abbot of the rival Ikh Khuree monastery, Sanjdorj Zandan, had criticized the visit as interference in Mongolia’s internal affairs.
During the Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia in 2006, China had cut off rail links and disrupted air travel services with landlocked Mongolia whose economy is heavily dependence on trade with China.
Mongolians follow the Tibetan brand of Buddhism and have a special historical connection with the Dalai Lamas of Tibet. Indeed, the title “Dalai Lama” was first given to the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, by the Mongol chief Altan Khan whom he converted to Buddhism in the 16th century.