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HP chief minister’s planned presence at Dalai Lama birthday function seen as politically significant

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul02’22) – The appearance next week of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur of Himachal Pradesh as the chief guest at the birthday function for His Holiness Dalai Lama shows growing engagement by sitting functionaries of the Indian government with the exile Tibetan administration, said the zeenews.india.com Jul 2.

The report noted that on his last birthday, which falls on Jul 6, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to the exile Tibetan spiritual leader and sent his congratulations.

The “Dalai Lama is well regarded by the international community and you remember PM Modi wishing him on his birthday last year. So, this year, we have the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh as our chief guest for His Holiness’s birthday,” the report quoted Sikyong (executive head) Mr Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration as saying in an exclusive interview.

The report notes that China is known to get miffed over engagements with the Dalai Lama or members of the Tibetan leadership in exile.

Sino-India relations have seen a downward spiral after Chinese troops attacked their Indian counterparts in a night raid in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in the intervening night of Jun 15-16, 2020 using nailed clubs and assortments of other deadly improvised weapons. It resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four on the Chinese side.

China now refuses to withdraw from the territory it occupied during that period, saying the settlement of this issue can wait and the two countries should focus on restoring normal relations in other areas of common interest.

India insists, however, that the settlement of the border dispute is the basis for the restoration of normal ties between the two counties.

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