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Refrain from meeting Dalai Lama, Indian govt. tells its officials
[Friday, March 02, 2018 22:03]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 2: The Indian government has reportedly issued directive urging leaders from Central and state government not to accept any invitation to attend events planned for Thank You India year being marked by the Central Tibetan Administration amid ‘rising tensions’ with its prime counterpart China.

On Thursday, Indian Express reported that Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale sent a directive to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha with the latter telling “senior leaders” and “government functionaries” of the Centre and states to not participate in the events of the Tibetan leadership in exile.

Sinha was instructed on Feb. 22 to issue a note for internal circular to all Ministries/Departments of Government of India as well as State Governments not to accept any invitation or to participate in the proposed commemorative events proposed by the Dharamshala based Tibetan government in exile known as the Central Tibetan Administration. The move was said to have necessitated amid “very sensitive time in the context of India’s relations with China”.

“We understand that this includes a large public event titled ‘Thank You India’ being organised at Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on 1 April, 2018. The Dalai Lama set-up also intends to invite a number of Indian dignitaries. These are likely to be followed up by additional events in Delhi as well as other States of India,” the Foreign Secretary said in the letter.

The move is viewed as a significant pivot away from its stance against China and the refugee community, by the Narendra Modi led ruling party BJP which assumed tougher stance after it came into power. The New Delhi government exercised lax in allowing both the Dalai Lama and the prominent Tibetan religious figure, the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee visit the border state of Arunachal Pradesh last year, which China say is disputed territory.

The CTA which earlier announced that the year will be observed as a “thank you India” year beginning later this month in Arunachal Pradesh commemorating the Dalai Lama’s passage to India through Tezpur in the year as well as grand event in Indian capital in April.

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