Bengal Governor attends Dalai Lama's function; rebuffs China

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Dalai Lama
Kolkata, Dec 1: Rebuffing Beijing's reservations, MK Narayanan, Governor, West Bengal attended Dalai Lama's function in Kolkata.

Dalai Lama was in the city to deliver a speech on Mother Teresa. The Chinese consulate in Kolkata had asked the government that the Chief Minister of the state Mamata Banerjee and the governor to refrain from the programme addressed by the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Refusing to talk over the issue, Narayanan however said that the matter should not be "politicised".

"What do you expect me to do about it? If they have written to the chief secretary. They have written," he said.

"This is quite routine. From their point of view it is also logical. Some Chinese officials consider me as a demon. They raise every objection," said Dalai Lama on the Chinese consulate's objection over his visit to the state.

On being asked if he expected this kind of reaction from China, he said, "I have faced this before. I don't want to comment on the letter from the Chinese consulate."

"This year in March I formally, officially handed over the political leadership. I am no longer a leader of political administration. So, I don't like to politicise my visit here," he remarked.

While China treats Dalai Lama as persona non grata, New Delhi has maintained that the Tibetan Spiritual leader is a respectable religious leader and there was no question of restriction of freedom of speech in a democratic country like India.

"I have handed over four centuries of Tibetan tradition in which the Dalai Lama is both spiritual and temporal head. This I have ended voluntarily, happily, peacefully and proudly," Dalai Lama said.

"As a refugee community, we are fully utilising democracy. Our administrative leaders are chosen through election. Since 2001, we have achieved an elected political leadership," he said.

"From the airport to the hotel I saw lot of construction coming up. This is a sign of development. But comfort at the physical level is not sufficient," said the Dalai Lama speaking about the development in Kolkata.

"I am no longer a political leader. I don't like this visit to be politicised," said the Tibetan Spiritual leader.

OneIndia News

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