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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
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Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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Formalities and functions not important: Dalai Lama on India's CTA event snub
[Tuesday, March 13, 2018 17:28]
By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 13: With much being made over the New Delhi government’s directive to distance themselves from the exile Tibetan government’s commemorative events to thank India, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness has said that he does not attach importance to what he called “formalities and nice speeches”.

The octogenarian Tibetan leader while speaking to CNN18’s interview, 'Virtuosity with Vir Sanghvi' on March 10 said that he is not bothered by the development. He said, “I don’t like you see, these formalities... some formal function, and nice speech doesn’t matter,” adding that the spirit of the Tibetan people which is indomitable, is what matters. “Six million Tibetans, inside as well as outside Tibet, their Tibetan spirit is wonderful, that is what is important,” the Tibetan leader said.

The statements by the Dalai Lama comes as a response to what many said was a demeaning, perhaps belittling the Central Tibetan Administration’s grand gesture of expressing gratitude to the Indian government after 59 years in exile, to stabilize and possibly appease China.

Reports also suggest that the Dalai Lama who was to attend the 105th edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) that begins in Manipur on Friday, will not attend the event. Achyuta Samanta, general president of the Indian Science Congress Association, told PTI that the Dalai Lama had been invited to the conference, but said he would not be able to attend it.

On March 1, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha was reported to have issued 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 CTA, citing “tension in relation with China”. While the MEA later said that there is no change in stand towards the Dalai Lama, it was not denied that such an official directive was issued.

CTA was to hold high profile events in New Delhi at the Thyagaraja Stadium on April 1 as well as an inter-faith meeting at Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat scheduled for March 31 with big names in Indian politics such as veteran BJP senior leader L K Advani and former PM of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, in contention of participating.

Sources say that the events have been moved to the exile seat of the CTA here in Dharamshala and will be “low key” events commemorated without the presence of Indian political representation.
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