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Arunachal chief minister reviews preparations for Dalai Lama visit

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep15’23) – Apart from Sikkim from Oct 10 to 14, Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is to visit Arunachal Pradesh as well, another Tibet-border state in northeast India, it has emerged. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu who is currently on a tour to his native district Tawang, on Thursday (Sep 14) chaired a meeting to review the preparations for the upcoming visit of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama to the district, reported the UNI news agency Sep 13.

“In view of the upcoming proposed visit of His Holiness to the district, chaired a meeting to review the preparations today at Tawang,” Pema Khandu has said on his X social media account.

Regard the visit’s schedule, the report only said it will take place in Oct-Nov 2023.

The Sep 13 meeting was stated to have been attended also by MLA’s Tsering Tashi and Tsering Lhamu; DoKKA Chairman Jambey Wangdi; DGP Anand Mohan; Tawang Deputy Commissioner Kanki Darang; representatives of Monpa Mimang Tsokpa; officials of Indian Army, ITBP, and SSB; monks; Panchayat leaders; and GBs.

It was stated to be the second meeting on the visit after the first one held in Jul 2023.

Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khando inspecting the ongoing construction of the Dalai Lama Phodrang at Pungteng, Tawang. (Photo courtesy: Pema Khando)

The chief minister has also said in a second tweet: “Inspected the ongoing construction of the Dalai Lama Phodrang residence at Pungteng, Tawang. This is the blessed place where His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spent a few days after arriving from Tibet in 1959.”

The Dalai Lama has visited Tawang seven times since 1983, noted the northeastlivetv.com Sep 14. During his last visit in Apr 2017, the Dalai Lama spent 12 days in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh amid criticisms from China.

China claims that much of the territory of Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it as Southern Tibet on the basis of its armed invasion and illegal annexation of Tibet after the founding of the People’s Republic of China on Oct 1, 1949. India exercises sovereignty over the territory on the basis of a border settlement at Shimla in 1914, involving independent Tibet, British India, and the Kuomintang-ruled China.

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