Govt denies change in stance on Dalai Lama to please China

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NEW DELHI, Mar 02: The government today said it has not changed its position on the Dalai Lama to please China and added that he’s free to carry out his religious activities in the country.

The Centre was reacting to media reports that it had asked government officials to stay away from events related to commemorate 60 years of the exile in India of the Buddhist spiritual leader. This alleged directive was attributed to India not wanting to rock the boat vis-à-vis relations with Beijing, which considers the Dalai Lama a “dangerous separatist”, and which considers Tibet a part of China .

The government didn’t specifically deny that it issued such a directive. All it said was that its position on the Dalai Lama hasn’t changed.

“The government’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. He is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India,” said a statement issued today by the ministry of external affairs(MEA).

A whole host of events have been planned to mark 60 years of the Dalai Lama being in India. The spiritual leader fled Lhasa in Tibet in March 1959 when the Chinese government cracked down on the Tibetan independence movement.

The Dalai Lama left March 17, 1959, after he “disguised himself as a soldier and slipped through the crowds outside the palace he’d never see again,” wrote Time magazine, revisiting the time in a 2015 article. The palace beng referred to is the Dalai Lama’s palace in Lhasa.

Two weeks after fleeing, the Dalai Lama surfaced in India. Later this month, he will begin his 60th year in India. Events commemorating this landmark have already begun in Dharamsala where the Dalai Lama resides and which is officially considered his headquarters.

Buddhist nuns from over 40 nunneries across India, Nepal and Bhutan yesterday offered prayers for the Tibetan spiritual leader”s long life. Four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the Bon tradition were represented at the prayers here at the town of Mcleodganj in Dharamsala. Over 875 nuns organized this prayers service yesterday morning.

These Tibetan Buddhist nuns have earned the ‘Geshe’ degree, which is the highest level of scholarship-previously offered only to monks.

“After coming to India and reviving monasteries and nunneries successfully, I encouraged monks and nuns to pursue study of Buddha’s teachings, root texts and the five great treatises”, said the Dalai Lama.

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