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Dalai Lama, Prime Minister Modi separately visiting Arunachal later this month

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct20’22) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the border state of Arunachal Pradesh by the end of October as a part of his tour of north-eastern states, reported the
indianexpress.com Oct 18. Such visits by top leaders of India in the past have attracted criticisms and protests from China which claims that the territory is part of Tibet, which is under its occupation rule.
Coincidentally, the exile Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has also previously been reported to be scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh – as well as Sikkim – about the same time.

However, the two may not necessarily be visiting the same place or places in Arunachal.

China in recent years took to call the state, especially the Tawang region inhabited by the Monpa people, to which Chief Minister Pema Khandu belongs, part of southern Tibet, and therefore its territory.

It was previously reported on Sep 7, 2022 that the current, 14th Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exile spiritual leader, will visit Tawang soon. The request for the visit was made by a group of devotees from Tawang during its participation in a long-life religious offering to the Tibetan Buddhist leader in Dharamsala.

The visit is yet to take place and might well happen about the end of this month. This is because later in Sep 2022, the Dalai Lama agreed to visit another northeastern border state, Sikkim, in late this month on an invitation from its Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang (Golay).

The invitation was delivered by the state’s Ecclesiastical Department Minister, Ven Sonam Lama, when he called on the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate at the latter’s exile home at Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, on Sep 14, joined by the department’s secretary Passang D Phempu.

The minister has said the visit will be for five days, from Oct 28 to Nov 1, 2022.

It is not clear whether the Dalai Lama will visit Sikkim or Arunachal first.

For Prime Minister Modi, the trip will include visits to the states of Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.

“The PM is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on either Oct 27 or 28. We have just got the information. … If he goes to Arunachal Pradesh first, he will come here on the 28th. If he comes to Tripura first, he will come here on the 27th, and will go to Arunachal later,” the report quoted Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha as saying in capital Agartala.

While in Tripura, Modi will inaugurate a housing project under a pan-India central government scheme, known as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). The purpose and place of his visit to Arunachal has not yet been stated.

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