Firmly refuting rumours of going soft on China, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has categorically stated that India’s position on Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is “unchanged”.
“Government of India`s position on His Holiness the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent. He is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by the people of India. There is no change in that position. His Holiness is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India,” the statement read.
The ministry’s comments came after The Indian Express reported on an official note dated 22 February, advising “senior leaders” and “government functionaries” of the Centre and states to stay away from events organised by Tibetan leaders, citing “very sensitive times” in bilateral relations on India and China. The note was sent by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, who put out a directive to that effect two days later.
The Tibetan “government-in-exile” has planned a series of events in March-end and early April to commemorate 60 years of the Dalai Lama`s arrival in India in 1959 to escape the Chinese persecution.