Advisory on Dalai Lama has no link with Sonia's China visit: Congres

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (UNI) The Congress today said its President Sonia Gandhi's recent visit to China had nothing to do with the reported government advisory restraining ministers from attending today's function here to felicitate Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for receiving the highest civilian award bestowed on him by the US Congress.

"It has nothing to do with India's foreign policy or Ms Gandhi's recent China visit," AICC General Secretary in charge of Media Veerappa Moily told mediapersons here.

"I do not know under what circumstances did such a circular was issued," he said, adding that "it is up to the government to clarify." Replying to a question, he said there was no change in the attitude of the Congress towards the Dalai Lama as "we always consider him as a highly honoured spiritual leader." "No one can question the relationship between the Congress and India with the Dalai Lama." There were reports that the government yesterday asked its Ministers to keep away from a function here today to felicitate the Tibetan spiritual leader. The advisory was reportedly issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, but it gave no reason for it.

The Dalai Lama had recently visited the United States where he was presented with the highest civilan award bestowed by the US Congress, much to the chagrin of China, which unleashed a fresh tirade at the US over his warm reception in Washington.

The felicitation was organised jointly by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and the All India Parliamentary Forum for Tibet.

The function at the Habitat Centre was not attended by any of the Union Ministers.

Ms Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were in China on a five-day visit towards last month end.

UNI

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