News and Views on Tibet

Tight security for Dalai Lama visit

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Patna, January 7 – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived in Patna Monday under tight security following death threats from Chinese insurgents, police said.

A bulletproof car and a posse of state police were provided for the Nobel peace laureate as he arrived with personal security guards at Patna International Airport.

The Dalai Lama, who is due to attend the Buddhist Kalchakra festival between January 11-20 at Bodhgaya, the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, has received death threats from the Norggen group, a previously unknown outfit of Chinese insurgents.

Indian intelligence agents received the threat from the Norggen, who operate on the border with Nepal and have links with Nepal’s Maoist rebels, about a week ago, according to sources.

Local low-caste Hindus who have embraced Buddhism have also campaigned against the visit of the Dalai Lama, whom they accuse of being anti-Indian.

The neo-Buddhists have also threatened acts of violence during the visit.

Four Chinese men were arrested for spying when the Dalai Lama visited Bodhgaya last year, officials said.

Thousands of Buddhists and international tourists from 50 countries are expected to participate in the Kalchakra ceremony, a festival of Tibetan rituals.

A few thousand foreign tourists have already arrived in the Buddhist holy city, which has been turned into a fortress for the occasion. “At different entry points of the town, 24 metal detector gates have been planted, 15 of them are around the place where the prayers will take place,” an official said.

The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after an abortive uprising in 1959 and established the government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala.

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