News and Views on Tibet

Security concerns over Dalai Lama visit to Bihar

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Bodhgaya, January 2 – A senior police official in Bihar voiced concern over the safety of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama with Indian Buddhists stepping up their protests against his visit to the state next week.

The Dalai Lama is expected to arrive in the town of Bodhgaya in eastern Bihar on Tuesday to participate in the prestigious Kalchakra Puja Buddhist festival, which begins on January 11.

“The Dalai Lama has been provided Z-plus security because of the security threat he carries. The local tension is certainly a matter of extra concern,” said a top police official in Bodhgaya.

Another Tibetan spiritual leader, Karmapa Urgen Thinley Dorji, arrives on Sunday. Indian Buddhists, who are converts from Hinduism, have been campaigning against the two leaders.

“The Tibetan government in exile on Indian soil is receiving American aid to the tune of 107 million dollars per annum through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the USA in a questionable manner,” said a pamphlet distributed by Buddhists in Bodhgaya.

The pamphlet questioned why the Dalai Lama was allowed to run an “alien government” in India.

It questioned that while the Indian constitution clearly rules out the existence of any other sovereign authority except Indian on its soil, then how can Dalai Lama use the Dewar Zhung (official seal) of the Tibetan government-in-exile here.

Half-a-million Buddhists and international tourists from 50 countries are expected to participate in the 10-day Kalchakra Puja. The festival of Tibetan rituals is one of the largest gatherings of Buddhist monks and devotees.

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