- Dalai Lama traveling through Arunachal, China objects
- India tells China "not to interfere in internal affairs"
- Arunachal shares border with Tibet, not China: Chief Minister
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as "southern Tibet"; India says Arunachal is inseparable from the country.
Yesterday, China warned that by enabling the Dalai Lama's second trip to Arunachal in eight years, Delhi has "severely damaged China's interests and China-India relations."
China considers the 81-year-old exiled spiritual leader a dangerous separatist looking to free Tibet. Indian officials have dismissed China's criticism, saying has a devoted following in the region.
"His visit to this part of the country is totally religious," Chief Minister Khandu, said yesterday.
"Beijing has no right to threaten Delhi on the Dalai Lama's movement within the country as India shares boundary with Tibet and not China," he said. "China has no business telling us what to do and what not to do because it is not our next-door neighbour."
The Washington Post reported "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken an increasingly aggressive line toward China since coming into office in 2014, the same year he invited the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile to his swearing in ceremony.
"But Modi isn't the only one making provocations. The chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh decided to take a still less Chinese-friendly line over the Dalai Lama's visit." Referring to his comment about a shared border with Tibet, not China, the newspaper remarked, "That should go over well in Beijing."
The Dalai Lama received a rapturous welcome on Tuesday in the town of Bomdila, with large crowds turning out in streets festooned with flags, as musicians and dancers clad in traditional costumes performed before his sport-utility vehicle.
Later, the maroon-robed leader walked slowly through the crowds, a fellow monk supporting him by the arm and another holding a large umbrella overhead to shield him from the rain.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising. He trekked through the Himalayas and entered India through Arunachal Pradesh, not far from the Tawang monastery, the largest of its kind in India. Tawang is just 25 kms away from the Line of Actual Control which serves as the India-China border.
The Nobel peace laureate had planned to fly by helicopter to the 17th-century Tawang monastery and hold three days of spiritual teachings starting on Wednesday. However, heavy rainfall forced him to travel by road - a two-day drive through rugged mountain terrain - and he is not now expected to arrive until tomorrow.