Centre clears Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (ANI): The Union Government on Tuesday cleared the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh next month, dispelling speculation over the Tibetan spiritual leader's trip.

The Dalai Lama is expected visit the border state from November 8. During his visit, he is expected to visit the Tawang Monastery. He is also expected to inaugurate a super-specialty hospital.

On October 19, the Arunchal Government's state reception committee had cleared the Dalai Lama's visit to the state.

"It is a purely religious visit and during his four-day stay at the Tawang monastery, the Dalai Lama will give sermons to his followers," said T G Rinpoche chairman of the state reception committee.

The Dalai Lama had recently offered prayers at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh for four Tibetan youths executed by the Chinese Government, for their alleged role in the 2008 anti-China unrest in Lhasa.

Controversy arose over his visit, when China raised strong objections to it on grounds of Arunachal Pradesh being a disputed territory and the Dalai Lama being seen as a dissident and renegade leader.

New Delhi retaliated by saying that Arunachal Pradesh was an integrated part of India and that it saw the Dalai Lama as an honoured guest of the Indian Government. This view was conveyed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, when he met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, last week.

The formal announcement of the visit comes on the day of a meeting between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the trilateral Russia, India, China (RIC) meeting in Bangalore. (ANI)

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