China shouldn't have problem with Dalai Lama's 'religious' visit: Tibetan govt.-in-exile

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Apr. 4 (ANI): Hailing the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, the Tibetan government-in-exile today said that China should not have any problem with it as the spiritual leader's visit is purely religious.

"He has been invited by the people of Tawang to come and give teachings and blessings. He is visiting as a religious leader. He travels all over the world and give teachings on Buddhist philosophy, inter religious harmony and peace. There is no reason for China to protest Lama visiting to the places where his followers are there," Tibetan government-in-exile spokesperson Sonam Dagpo told ANI.

He further said China is not protesting against the Dalai Lama's visit for the first time.

"He has been visiting Tawang for the last many years. So, you don't see any kind of Chinese projects coming openly. But may be about five-six years now whenever he is being invited by the people of Tawang, China begins to protest against the Indian Government," he added.

Earlier in the day, the government warned against any 'artificial controversy' being created and asserted that the Dalai Lama's visit was strictly religious and not political.

"His (Dalai Lama) visit is purely religious in nature and there should be no political angle given to that," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told the media here.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) yesyerday issued a statement, saying that no additional colour should be ascribed to the Dalai Lama's religious and spiritual activities.

The Dalai Lama, who was set to reach Tawang today, has been forced to change his schedule due to bad weather and will now reach Bomdila by evening.

The Tibetan spiritual leader was set to leave Guwahati by a chopper, but the inclement weather has forced him to travel by road and change his stop to Bomdila, where he will make a public appearance tomorrow.

After staying there for two days, he will proceed to Tawang.

During his visit, he is also expected to hold a religious discourse at the stadium of Tawang's senior secondary school and will also deliver a public talk on 'Secular Ethics and Happiness' at the Kala Wangpo Convention Centre.

On global stage, China has repeatedly warned India that the Dalai Lama's visit would hit the bilateral ties significantly.

Protesting Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, China earlier on Friday warned India to avoid damaging bilateral relations between the two nations and adhere to political pledges or else face the consequences. (ANI)