India tightens access to Dalai Lama for visitors from Tibet

The Dalai Lama walking to his office, guarded by Indian soldiers. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)
The Dalai Lama walking to his office, guarded by Indian soldiers. (Photo courtesy: OHHDL)

(, Jun08, 2018) – In order to strengthen security for Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, India has made it mandatory for visitors from Tibet seeking to meet with him to produce verifiable proof of their identity. There is already a well-established procedure for foreign visitors to the Dalai Lama.

A direction in this regard was reported to have been issued by India’s ministry of home affairs (MHA) to the state of Himachal Pradesh. The MHA has directed Himachal Police that no one could meet him without having his individual identity established from his documents, reported Jun 7.

“Police has received a letter and this is for the security of the Tibetan spiritual leader only, which says that we can only allow a person to meet after his individual identity and legal credentials of his arrival to India are established,” the report quoted Kangra SP Santosh Patial as saying.

The report cited “well-placed sources” as saying there were many Tibetans, including monks, who enter India through the porous border of Nepal to meet the Dalai Lama. Jun 7 cited sources in Dharamshala as saying the advisory was issued after some monks from Tibet came to meet the Dalai Lama recently. It said nine such monks from Tibet had come to Dharamshala during the Thank You India event organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in the month of March.

The normal procedure for foreign nationals seeking an audience with the Dalai Lama is that they have to first register with the Himachal police in Kangra district. They have to submit their identity proofs and are allowed audience with the Dalai Lama after proper verification by the Himachal police entrusted with the security of the Dalai Lama.

In the case of new refugees or visitors from Tibet, the visitors have to register with the Tibetan Reception Centres in Nepal and India and have to obtain an entry permit from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.

The new rule is a setback for Tibetans from Tibet who avoid the normal procedure for processing their arrival in India in order to avoid leaving a paper trail which would enable China to persecute them after their return.

The report cited CTA authorities as saying they were taking up the matter with the India’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, asking that monks coming from Tibet be allowed to meet the Dalai Lama.


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