Dalai Lama free to travel in India, PM to Wen

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 26: Putting an end to China's opposition to Dalia Lama's proposed visit to Arunachal Pradesh, PM Manmohan Singh told Wen Jiabao during a dinner conversation that 'the religious leader is India's honored guest and is free to travel anywhere in the country'.

Talking to journalist after the East Asia summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, Singh said, "I explained to Premier Wen that Dalai Lama is our honoured guest and he is a religious leader... (But) we do not allow Tibetan refugees to indulge in political activities and proof of that is that we took resolute action against some Tibetans during Olympics (torch relay) last year following reports that some refugees might create problems."

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In the crucial Singh-Wen meeting at the backdrop of the ongoing border tension, Singh told his Chinese counterpart that that India's hosting of Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugees should not be mistaken for supporting separatist movement against China. Adding that maintaining peace and tranquility is the reponsiblity of both Beijing and India.

Singh also took this opportunity to discuss river issues with China and said that Unilateral decision on diversion of Brahmaputra would not be helpful.

Calling the border dispute a 'complex issue , which cannot be wished away, Singh said,"Pending the resolution of the boundary question, both countries have an obligation to maintain peace and tranquility along the border."

Despite the MEA claim that Dalai Lama issue has not been discussed, PM said that he had a frank discussion with Wen on all issue.

"I had a frank and constructive exchange of views with Premier Wen we discussed all these issues and agreed that the existing mechanism of bilateral cooperation should be used to resolve all issues in the spirit of strategic and cooperative partnership

PM said that the upcoming visit of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi with SM Krishna in Bangalore on Tuesday for the Russia-India-China trilateral meeting will help in discussing further issues which matter to the country.

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