'No change in govt's stand on Dalai Lama': MEA clarifies
In the wake of reports that Centre had asked leaders and bureaucrats to skip the Dalai Lama events, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said the spiritual leader is deeply respected by the people of India and there is no change in government's position in on 'His Holiness'.
It was earlier reported that Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha had issued a directive telling "senior leaders" and "government functionaries" of the Centre and states that it is "not desirable" to participate in the events of the Tibetan leadership in exile. Sinha is said to issued the directive following a note sent by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
In a statement issued Friday, the Ministry of External Affairs said: "Government's position on His Holiness the Dalai Lama is clear and consistent. He is a revered religious leader and is deeply respected by people of India. There is no change in that position. He is accorded all freedom to carry out his religious activities in India."
Gokhale the former Indian ambassador to Beijing, had requested Sinha to issue a "classified circular advisory advising all Ministries/Departments of Government of India as well as State Governments not to accept any invitation or to participate in the proposed commemorative events".
Tibetans in-exile are set to celebrate a large public event titled 'Thank You India' at Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on 1 April, 2018. The event will mark 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama.