Govt. didn't suggest Dalai Lama to undertake visit to Tawang, says Tharoor

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New Delhi, Nov.9 (ANI): Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor on Monday said Dalai Lama's Tawang visit was his own initiative and not a suggestion by the Government of India.

"On Dalai Lama visit as far as I'm concerned, Dalai Lama is free to travel anywhere in India as a matter of courtesy he coordinates with the government before he goes somewhere but as far as I'm aware I have certainly not heard that suggestions have come from us because we do not deal with the spiritual travels of a spiritual leader. He has to visit his flock as he sees fit, " said Tharoor while addressing Indian Economic Forum Summit in national capitalBeijing sees the visit as encouraging the Tibetan struggle by undermining Chinese territorial integrity and has slammed it as the Dalai Lama's "scheme to wreck China's relations" with India.

But the Tibetan leader says it is merely a spiritual tour. Beijing calls the Dalai Lama a dangerous "splittist" plotting Tibetan independence, a charge he denies.

Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state is the birthplace of Dalai Lama and part of territory Beijing considers as "southern" Tibet. It is at the heart of the border dispute.

On the recent attacks on Indian students in Australia, Tharoor told the journalists that Australian Government has assured India to take their best of efforts to prevent such incidents from recurrence.

"My understanding is that this is inevitably a subject that will come up because India remains concerned whenever any Indian citizen is harmed anywhere in the world. Having said that we have a large number of students there and positive relations with Australia and our government has been anxious not to dramatise this problem. We have 90,000 Indian students in Australia and about 25 of whom have suffered attacks that's 25 too many. We don't want a single attack but you must see that 25 attacks against the 90,000 Indian students and see that proportion. We had assurances from the Australian government about the number of steps they are taking to keep our students safe. Patrolling, counselling and various other things and in every society incidences can happen despite the best efforts. All we can ask of the Australian government is that they make their best efforts and they have assured us that they are doing it.". (ANI)

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