Dalai Lama begins addressing gathering in Tawang with China hopping mad over visit

A large group of people sat quietly with folded hands as the 14th Dalai Lama today started addressing a large group of people in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu kicked off the proceedings today at the Tawang Stadium, paying respects the Dalai Lama.

A huge number of people have turned up to listen to the Dalai Lama (Photo: Manogya Loiwal)

"I thank Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) for all the support extended to make this trip happen. The people of Tawang are blessed to see (the) Dalai Lama and are praying for his good health as they seek blessings from him," Khandu said.

"It was 58 years ago that the Dalai Lama came to India and entered via Tawang...It is a historic moment for us and the people of Arunachal Pradesh."

Tight security in place as Dalai Lama begins his spiritual address (Photo: Manogya Loiwal)

This is the Dalai Lama's sixth visit to Arunachal Pradesh and the first in this decade. A large number of people, including foreigners from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, have come to listen to the Dalai Lama speak.

Large gathering in Tawang as Dalai Lama begins address (Photo: Manogya Loiwal)

Dalai Lama is visiting Arunachal Pradesh for the first time this decade (Photo: Manogya Loiwal)

CHINA OBJECTS

The Dalai Lama's trip has sparked angry reactions from China, with the country lodging formal protests in both Beijing and New Delhi and warning that the visit would exacerbate India-China border tensions.

China, which sees the Dalai Lama as a troublemaker, is particularly opposed to his visit to Tawang, an Indian mountain town to which China has for long staked claim.

The Indian government has maintained that the trip is purely spiritual in nature and has criticised China's communist government for generating 'artificial controversies.'

Chinese media has further raised the rhetoric warning that Beijing may be forced to take tough measures and might even consider 'interfering' in Kashmir in response to the Dalai Lama's visit.

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