(TibetanReview.net, Nov11, 2016) – China has on Nov 9 again demanded that India respect its position on Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, whom it claims is a separatist, and stop him from visiting the ‘disputed’ border state of Arunachal Pradesh in Mar 2017, reported indiatvnews.com Nov 9. China calls the state a disputed territory, claiming it is part of southern Tibet. Meanwhile, a Tibet advocacy group in the state has urged New Delhi to honour the Dalai Lama with the country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, reported arunachaltimes.in Nov 9.
“The Chinese government is against the proposed visit of Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh. We hope that the Indian government will respect China’s position in the regard,” Consulate General of China in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu, was quoted as saying.
Ma was further quoted as saying, “For China, Arunachal Pradesh is the southern part of Tibet which we call as Zang Nan. We hope that the Indian government will act in accordance with the agreement with China where India recognises Tibet as a part of China.”
He has expressed hope that the two countries would handle the differences properly “to make the bilateral relations one of the best in the world”.
India has already made it clear, following previous Chinese government objections, that the Dalai Lama, a “revered guest”, was free to move anywhere in the country, including Arunachal Pradesh where he has sizeable Buddhist following.
In Arunachal’s capital Itanagar, a local group called Tibet Support Group of Arunachal Pradesh (TSGAP) appealed to New Delhi to confer the Bharat Ratna Award on the Dalai Lama in recognition of his great services to India and humanity. In a meeting held on Nov 9, the TSGAP unanimously decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally make their appeal, said the arunachaltimes.in report.
Former state ministers Anok Wangsa and Tanyong Tatak, Secretary General and Vice-President of TSGAP, both attended the meeting which was presided over by its President Gicho Kabak.
The group hailed Member of Parliament and former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh state Mr Shanta Kumar who recently made a similar appeal to the government of India.