(TibetanReview.net, Apr06, 2015) – China has thanked Sri Lanka for denying visa to Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, even before the latter has received an application or taken a decision on the matter. China was responding to a Reuters report Apr 3 which quoted an unnamed top Sri Lankan foreign minister official as saying his government “may not grant a visa” to the Dalai Lama who was being invited by senior religious figures in the country.
Another Reuters report Apr 3 quoted China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying during a regular press briefing in Beijing, “Sri Lanka is a traditional friendly neighbor of China’s and the China-Sri Lanka relationship has always developed smoothly. Sri Lanka fully understands and respects China’s concerns on the relevant issue. We appreciate the Sri Lankan position. We are willing to work together with Sri Lanka to constantly strengthen our traditional friendly partnership.”
The Dalai Lama held a historic conclave with a delegation of Buddhist religious leaders from Sri Lanka in New Delhi over Mar 19-20 and the two sides suggested visits to each other to further their religious relationship.
The Sri Lankan official had implied fear of offending China if visa was granted. “The Dalai Lama is very important. But the close relationship with China is more important and we have not changed our stance on ‘One China’ policy,” he was quoted as saying.