After Officials Told To Stay Away, Dalai Lama Event Shifted From Delhi To Dharamsala

Not disappointed as we have been in India for the last 60 years and with the support of the government of India, we have preserved our language, our culture: Tibetan administration spokesman to NDTV

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After Officials Told To Stay Away, Dalai Lama Event Shifted From Delhi To Dharamsala

India's position on the Dalai Lama has not changed, the foreign ministry has said


New Delhi:  With the government warning officials to stay away from any events of the Dalai Lama due to the current sensitive nature of ties with China, the Tibetan 'government in exile' in India has now moved its programme to mark 60 years of exile, from Delhi to Dharamsala.

Speaking to NDTV, the Tibetan administration spokesman, Sonam Dagpo, said, "Initially we planned to have the programme in Delhi but have shifted it after we saw reports that the cabinet secretary had asked officials to stay away. However, nothing has been officially conveyed to central Tibetan administration".

The cabinet secretary's note on February 22 says "senior leaders" and "government functionaries" of the centre and states should stay away from events planned for March-end and early April by the "Tibetan leadership in India" to mark the start of 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama. The note cites advice by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

Last week, the foreign ministry said India's position on the Dalai Lama had not changed but did not mention anything about the cabinet secretary's note.

"He (Dalai Lama) 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 foreign ministry statement had said.

When asked if there was a change in India's position on the Tibetan spiritual leader, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had refused to comment on the "sensitive issue".

"It's not proper for me to comment on the subject which has big ramification," Mr Rijiju told NDTV on Friday.

Mr Dagpo said he wasn't disappointed with the development as "we have been in India for the last 60 years and with the support of the government of India, we have preserved our language, our culture".

"The cabinet secretary's directive would be based on India's relations with the Chinese government; we also believe the relationship between India and China should improve," Mr Dagpo told NDTV.


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