(TibetanReview.net, Jan28, 2014) The head of the exile Tibetan administration at Dharaamsala, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, was on Jan 25 accorded reception as a guest of the state of Arunachal Pradesh ahead of his tour of the Tibetan settlements there. He was received at Tawang’s Urgen Sangpo helipad by the state’s Tourism Department and Rural Work Department Minister, Mr Pema Khandu.
China claims the state as its territory and cites Tawang as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama to give a historical fillip to it. It has in the past criticized visits to the state by the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, as well as by the top Indian national leaders.
Sikyong addressed a crowd of some 150 Tibetans residing in Tawang and was also to visit Derang and Bomdila on Jan 26, said the exile administration’s Tibet.net website Jan 26. While in Tawang he visited Urgelling, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama Tsangyang Gyatso. He will also visit Tibetan settlements at Tenzingang, Tuting, Tezu and Miao.
The Sikyong will also attend a week-long Tibet Festival in Guwahati city of the neighbouring Assam state, which starts on Feb 2. The festival will be inaugurated by the Dalai Lama and has Mr Khandu as the chairman of its organising committee.