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Stapled China visas abort Arunachal archers’ world champ dream

(TibetanReview.net, Oct12, 2013) China has issued stapled visas to two women archers from Arunachal Pradesh for the world championship to be held there from Oct 12. They were the only two from India’s team of 30 to be issued such visas; China’s obvious point is that the state is a disputed territory. The action has drawn protests from Arunachal political leaders, including with calls for reprisal actions.

Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from the state Mr Takam Sanjoy has said India should not accept stapled visas from China but only what has been issued to the other participants from other parts of India as well. “We are Indians, and no force in the world can separate us, may be the roots are different, but still we are a part of this country,” the ANI news agency Oct 11 quoted him as saying.

Arunachal East Lok Sabha MP and Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Ninong Ering, has also made a similar point. He has called for a boycott of cross border relations with China. “If this goes on, we must boycott cross border relations with China. We want to have friendship, better trade relations with China, but that doesn’t mean they have claim over us,” the report quoted him as saying.

Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang, the only two from Arunachal Pradesh in the Indian archery squad, were stopped Oct 10 night from boarding China Southern Airlines flight to Guangzhou for the Youth World Archery Championship at Wuxi, the report said. The immigration authorities told them that they would not be allowed to leave without a proper visa on their passports.

China has previously caused the abortion of visits by other Arunachal athletes as well. In 2011, two weightlifters from the state were prevented by immigration officials from boarding a flight from New Delhi to Beijing over the stapled visa issue. On occasions, China has denied visas to applicants from the state, saying they were Chinese citizens and did not need visas to visit their own country.

Ndtv.com Oct 11 cited Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki as saying he would ask India’s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid to take up the matter with China.

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