India Clarifies of No Change on Dalai Lama Stance

After reports of Foreign Secretary asking the Indian senior ministers and other government functionaries to skip Dalai Lama events in an attempt to appease the Beijing government, it was criticised of bowing to China. However, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clarification report saying that there is no change on Dalai Lama stance.

As per the report from the Indian Express, The Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha as per the directive from Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, he has sent out a note asking “senior leaders” and “government functionaries” of the Centre and states to stay away from scheduled ‘Thank You India’ events by Tibetan government in Exile, in New Delhi and other states of India in commemoration of 60th year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama stay in India.

The Foreign Ministry statement, while avoiding to speak on the note mentioned above, only clarified that India’s position on the Dalai Lama “is clear and consistent.

“He is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by the people of India. There is no change in that position. His Holiness is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

However, there are clear signs of India not wanting to disappoint China as the notice to the Indian officials to the proposed ‘Thank You India’ events by Tibetan government in Exile is at a period of very sensitive time in the context of India’s relations with China due to which it is being discouraged according to the report.

Professor Brahma Chellaney from Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research also tweeted of being disappointed by the government’s stance.

“MEA didn’t protest China’s refusal – in breach of two bilateral MOUs (memorandum of understanding) – to share upstream data on Brahmaputra and Sutlej or its cutting off Indian pilgrims’ access to two sacred sites in Tibet. And now this, when India should be doing the opposite,” Prof Chellaney tweeted.

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Editor at Tibetan Journal

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